On this day a year ago, Argentina defeated France in a game for the ages to win their third FIFA World Cup.
After more than two hours of football, the score was 3-3, and the fate of the final was decided on penalties, which the Argentines won by the slimmest of margins.
Argentina, led by Messi, wins the World Cup.
A year after that unforgettable night, Argentine media TYC Sports looked back at some of the final’s little-known secrets.
Scaloni was taken aback.
Coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed the team to his players an hour before the World Cup final in Qatar at Lusail. Among the names came a significant surprise: Argentina’s reliable right winger, ngel Di Mara, was moved to the left side.
“When the final formation was announced, I looked to the right and saw that I wasn’t there, and I assumed he wasn’t playing, that he was going to the bench.” Then I noticed it was on the left. “It surprised even me,” Di Mara recently stated in an interview with Star+.
“We knew Di Mara was going to play on the left, but we didn’t tell them until an hour before the game.” “We didn’t give anyone the advantage of knowing,” Scaloni stated in a FIFA interview.
Messi responds to Mbappé’s equalizer
Messi regretted Mbappé’s goal, which tied the game at 2-2 after being ahead by two goals, and almost kneeled on the ground; however, he decided to jump up at the last second, before touching the grass. This functioned almost like a foreshadowing of what was to come: the triumph on penalties.
The punishment that was not imposed
Montiel converted the game-winning penalty in the shootout. However, he was the fourth Argentine in that shootout, as Lautaro Martinez was denied the fifth and final penalty.
Martinez later revealed that he was dissatisfied with the sequence and would have preferred to take the fourth one.
“When the coach and I met to decide who would take penalty kicks, he began listing names, and I obviously told him that I wanted in.”
“I’m a striker who plays for my club as well as the national team when Messi and Leandro Paredes are unavailable.” It happened at the Copa America, for example. Finally, he prepared the list, and I came in fifth place. I wanted Gonzalo Montiel to take the crucial shot, but we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Martinez did not have to take the final penalty, as Emiliano Martinez’s two saves and conversion of all Argentine penalty takers secured Argentina’s World Cup victory.