World Cup on Betfair: Magical Messi leads 59/1 Argentina to World Cup glory

Argentina captain Lionel Messi kisses World Cup trophy
Lionel Messi opened the scoring in Argentina's World Cup final win over France

In an extraordinary World Cup final, Argentina are the new world champions after beating France on penalties. Mike Norman has the details and Betfair Exchange highs and lows from a dramatic afternoon in Qatar...

  • Argentina matched at 20.019/1 to win World Cup

  • Scaloni's men matched at 60.059/1 to win on penalties

  • Argentina hit a low of 1.031/33 to win in 90 minutes and at 1.111/9 to win in extra-time before France fight back

  • Mbappe World Cup final hat-trick rewards 48.047/1 Golden Boot backers

  • Messi matched at 15.5 to win Godlen Ball

Argentina are the new world champions after beating France on penalties in possibly the greatest FIFA World Cup final of all time.

Lionel Scaloni's men, who were pre-tournament second favourites, were matched at a high of 20.019/1 in the World Cup winner market after losing their opening game against Saudi Arabia, but they recovered superbly to win the title with their best performance of the tournament.

Bright start and deserved half-time lead

After a very bright start by Argentina, the pre-match favourites - who shortened to around 2.77/4 at kick-off with France out to 3.185/40 - took the lead thanks to a converted Lionel Messi penalty after Angel Di Maria was adjudged to have been foulded in the box.

It was Messi's fifth penalty of the tournament - four of which he scored - and in converting it he rewarded those who backed him at a high of 7.26/1 to score the first goal of the game.

In scoring, Messi becomes the first player in history to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final of a single edition of a World Cup.

Messi was again involved in Argentina's second goal, but in truth it was arguably the team goal of the tournament with a number of sublime fast passes ending with Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister squaring to Di Maria who slotted home at the far post.

France were so bad in the first half that Didier Deschamps made two substitutions before the interval had even arrived, withdrawing Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele in favour of Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani.

The 2-0 Half-Time score was matched at a high of 32.031/1.

Exchange madness as back come France

With France far from at their best Argentina only needed to keep their nerve and focus to become world champions, and they were on course to do that with relative ease until they conceded a penalty with just over 10 minutes to go.

Kylian Mbappe stepped up to convert the spot kick, and just minutes later he remarkably brought Les Bleus level, finishing from the edge of the box with a superb half-volley.

Mbappe was matched at a high of 7.26/1 to score anytime and at 50.049/1 to score two goals or more.

Argentina had been matched at a low of 1.031/33 in the Match Odds, with over £7.5m being matched on Scaloni's men at a price of 1.21/5 or lower.

France were now on top and looking the most likely team to score next, but they had Hugo Lloris to thank for stopping a Messi thunderbolt in the last minute of stoppage time.

The 2-2 Correct Score (90 minutes only market) was matched at a high of 40.039/1 with the Draw being matched at just a shade less, 36.035/1.

More drama in extra-time before shoot-out joy for Argentina

Unlike the usual tentative extra-time period of play, the World Cup final offered up a treat with first Argentina - Messi scrambling the bal over the line - scoring to lead 3-2 before another Mbappe penalty brought parity once more.

Argentina were matched at a low of 1.111/9 to win the game in extra-time, and Messi was matched at a low of 1.031/33 to win the Golden Boot once he'd scored his seventh goal of the tounrament, but it was Mbappe - his World Cup final hat-trick taking him to eight goals - who took the top scorer honours, matched at a high of 48.047/1.


And so it went to penalties, Mbappe scoring first before Messi nonchalantly rolled his penalty home.

Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni both missed for France, and with Argentina scoring their next two it was left to Gonzalo Montiel to score the crucial penalty that gave Argentina their third World Cup title.

Argentina were matched at a high of 60.059/1 to win on penalties in the Method of Victory market, and there were no surprises when Messi was awarded the Golden Ball (player of the tournament), matched at a high of 15.5.


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