Argentina will play France in the World Cup final, as both sides aim to win the trophy for the third time.
The South Americans breezed through their semi-final, with Lionel Messi leading them to a 3-0 victory over Croatia.
France battled well to beat Morocco 2-0, with the North Africans proving tough opponents and dominating periods of the play.
In total 32 teams started the 2022 Qatar World Cup with high hopes but only one winner can be crowned after all 64 matches have been played.
So far it’s been a tournament packed full of upsets, surprise early exits and dark horses.
When is the World Cup 2022 final?
The last match will take place on Qatar National Day – Sunday December 18, 2022.
What time is kick-off?
The final will kick-off at 3pm GMT (10am EST).
Which stadium will host the final?
The showpiece clash to decide the World Cup winners will be held at the Lusail Stadium. The state-of-the-art 80,000-seater stadium has a futuristic design with a roof that has been “carefully chosen to provide shade” given Qatar’s temperatures.
After the tournament concludes, organisers say the venue “will be transformed into a community space including schools, shops, cafés, sporting facilities and health clinics”.
Construction began in 2017 and was finished in 2021, at an estimated cost of $767 million.
How have Argentina fared so far?
Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez shone for Argentina in their 3-0 semi-final win. Messi scored the opener from the spot after the Croatia keeper Livakovic had clattered into Alvarez.
Soon after, Alvarez doubled the lead from close range following some poor Croatian defending. In the second-half, Messi showcased his full ability, giving Josko Gvardiol the runaround before teeing up Alvarez to score Argentina’s third.
In the quarter-final, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez put on a penalty-saving masterclass as Argentina beat the Netherlands after a remarkable 2-2 draw in which Messi scored a goal and assisted another.
Earlier in the tournament Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16. That match marked a return to form after a relatively scratchy group stage that started with a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia, followed by 2-0 victories over Mexico and Poland.
How have France got on so far?
Despite suffering several injuries, Les Bleus have looked strong in their bid to defend their title. Kylian Mbappe has terrorised defences, scoring five goals so far in the tournament, and he leads the race for the Golden Boot alongside Messi.
France led from early on against Morocco, with a Theo Hernandez effort putting them in front. Morocco then dominated spells of the play, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances, before Randal Kolo Muani scored relatively late on to confirm the win.
They battled well to beat England 2-1 in their quarter-final and were convincing in their 3-1 last-16 win over Poland.
France’s one slip was a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in their final group game – but Didier Deschamps deployed a B team for that match as Les Bleus had already qualified.
What is Argentina’s World Cup record?
Argentina have been World Cup winners on two occasions: 1978 and 1986. The latter, won in Mexico, is one of the most iconic triumphs in the tournament’s history with La Albiceleste captained by Diego Maradona, who was at the height of his powers.
In the midst of his successful seven-year spell with Napoli, he created five and scored five, including the infamous Hand of God goal and the mazy 60-yard run later voted ‘Goal of the Century’ in a 2-1 quarter-final win over England.
They also finished runners-up in both 1990 and 2014, losing to Germany, in one form or another, in the final on both occasions.
What is France’s World Cup record?
France are the defending champions having prevailed in Russia. They also won on their own turf in 1998. They were runners-up in Germany in 2006, losing on penalties to Italy after Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi.
Only two countries – Italy and Brazil – have recorded back-to-back World Cup triumphs.
What is Argentina and France’s results history?
Argentina and France have played each other 12 times, with Argentina winning six, France winning three and the remaining three being draws.
Their last meeting was at the 2018 World Cup, where they played out a fantastic quarter-final clash, in which France triumphed 4-3. Kylian Mbappe grabbed a brace that day.
They had only played each other twice at World Cup previously. Argentia won 1-0 in the inaugural tournament, and also triumphed 2-1 in the group stage in 1978.
What is the latest news on the final?
France are fighting a virus that has swept through their squad ahead of the match.
Manchester United’s Varane and Liverpool’s Konaté have been isolating in their rooms with France imposing social distancing measures at their team hotel to try and limit the impact of the virus.
Another defender, Dayot Upamecano, and midfielder Adrien Rabiot, went down with the illness suffering from flu-like symptoms, headaches and upset stomachs, and missed the semi-final. Kingsley Coman has also been sick.
There have even been suggestions that the illness was picked up during the quarter-final against England with France’s staff trying to work out a timeline and its origin. But there is no evidence to support this.
The more likely explanation is that the bug has been contracted in the way that many people have fallen ill in Qatar during the tournament.
Where is the next World Cup taking place?
The World Cup 2026 will be held across three host countries – America, Canada and Mexico – in a tournament first after the trio’s bid fended off a strong proposal from Morocco. The competition matches will be played across 16 different cities – 11 from America, two in Canada and three in Mexico.
History of the trophy
The original Jules Rimet Trophy, named in honour of the longest-serving Fifa president, was replaced by the Fifa World Cup Trophy for the 1974 World Cup, hosted in West Germany.
There were 53 designs for the new trophy submitted to Fifa who then selected the creation of Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga. The trophy represents the joy of victory with two stylised players holding up the world.
Made of 18 carat solid goal, the trophy is 36.8cm high and weighs 6.175kg. The base, 13cm in diameter, consists of two semiprecious green malachite bands that have been restored several times, in addition to the application of a new layer of gold plating. After the most recent restoration in 2005, Fifa decided to stop lending the original trophy to the winning team.
Holders of the cup were previously allowed to display it in their federation’s trophy cabinet before returning it to Fifa for the next World Cup. Since 2006, the original cup has only been given to the team during the official prize-giving ceremony before being retrieved by Fifa employees. The winning country is then given an exact replica of the original.
This article is regularly updated with the latest information.