Argentina won the greatest World Cup final of all time on penalties on Sunday with Lionel Messi now officially crowned the undisputed greatest footballer of all time. An enthralling final ended 3-3 after extra time before Argentina took the glory in a shootout. Kylian Mbappe scored his second penalty of the 120 minutes to earn himself a hat-trick and cancel out Messi’s second goal of the night. But the South Americans went on to bounce back and win the penalty shootout 4-2 thanks to misses from Aurelien Tchouameni and Kingsley Coman. Express Sport rates and slates the performances of both players after an incredible evening.
Emiliano Martinez – 8
Last gasp save from Kolo Muani took the game to penalties and from there he was in his element.
Nahuel Molina – 6
Kept Mbappe under wraps for 70 minutes – after that there are not many who could live with him.
Cristian Romero – 6
Strong in the middle for Argentina, he held the line together and was a steadying influence as Mbappe ran riot.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
Clumsy late penalty cost a straightforward win – the needless arm grapple gave Kolo Muani reason to tumble.
Nicolas Tagliafico – 6
With Di Maria providing all the early tricks in front of him his was just a supporting role, which he did with great competence.
Rodrigo De Paul – 6
Did what he always does. Took no nonsense, broke up play and made sure Messi got enough of the ball.
Enzo Fernandez – 6
Playacting and feigning injury was unnecessary aspect of the performance and tarnished the whole Messi narrative.
Alexis Mac Allister – 7
An absolute revelation this tournament, the Brighton man’s awareness for his assist in the second goal was spot on.
Lionel Messi – 9
35 years old and still tackling back! Simply inspirational as a footballer but, more importantly, as a leader.
Julian Alvarez – 6
An eager livewire again, his running along the back four created space for colleagues but no direct threat this time.
Angel Di Maria – 6
Missed out on the semis but back with a bang to win the penalty and score Argentina’s second goal.
Marcos Acuna (for Di Maria 64) 5
Gonzalo Montiel (for Molina 90)
Lautaro Martinez (for Alcarez 103)
Leandro Paredes (for De Paul 103)
German Pezzella (for Mac Allister 116)
Paulo Dybala (for Tagliafico 120)
Hugo Lloris – 7
Saved from Messi in injury time and extra time, but could not stop him putting in that final rebound.
Jules Kounde – 6
Too often Argentina exposed France down his flank so he was not really able to get into his stride going forward.
Raphael Varane – 6
Tried to marshall France from the back but his usual energy levels were lacking and the conviction wasn’t always there.
Dayot Upamecano – 7
One of those who was ill in the week, but his block from Martinez in extra time would have made him feel much better.
Theo Hernandez – 6
Having been one of the players of the tournament this far, he seemed off the pace – perhaps hampered by his sore knee?
Adrien Rabiot – 6
Part of a France midfield that was completely rolled over by their opposite numbers for so much of the game.
Aurelien Tchouameni – 6
Strong in the challenge as ever but for a lot of the game he lacked his team-mates picking up the second ball.
Ousmane Dembele – 5
Early miscontrol, silly arm raised in the back for the penalty then subbed before the break. Stage fright?
Antoine Griezmann – 6
The orchestrator of France’s best performances, he just was not allowed to get a toe-hold in the game.
Kylian Mbappe – 9
Squeezed his first penalty past Martinez then came alive. Second brilliantly taken, the hat-trick emphatic.
Olivier Giroud – 5
Slightly lucky at one point not to give away a penalty and so ineffective up front he did not make it to half-time.
Marcus Thuram (for Dembele 42) 7)
Randal Kolo Muani (for Giroud 42) 7
Kingsley Coman (for Griezmann 71)
Eduardo Camavinga (for Hernandez 71)
Youssouf Fofana (for Rabiot 96)
Ibrahima Konate (for Varane 113)
Axel Disasi (for Kounde 120)