The champion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be crowned on Sunday, when Argentina takes on France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. Here’s everything you need to know about the highly anticipated match:
HOW TO WATCH THE WORLD CUP FINAL
Match: Argentina vs. France
Venue: Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar
Time: Sunday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. ET
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Argentina: Emiliano Martínez, Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña, Enzo Fernández, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Alex Mac Allister, Julián Álvarez, Lionel Messi
Though Nicolás Tagliafico did an outstanding job of filling in for Marcos Acuña, who was serving a one-match suspension for accumulating two yellow cards, Acuña has been essential to Lionel Scaloni’s style of play at the World Cup and should assume his position in the final. Leandro Paredes as the only real wild card, as Scaloni could opt to start three center backs like he did against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. If that’s the case, Lisandro Martínez will likely start in Paredes’ place.
France: Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, Raphaël Varane, Ibrahima Konaté, Theo Hernandez, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappé
There’s good news and bad news for Didier Deschamps’ side. The good news is Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot, who were both sidelined for France’s semifinal vs. Morocco with flu-like symptoms, returned to training Friday.
The bad news is that five more players — Aurélien Tchouaméni, Kingsley Coman, Raphaël Varane, Ibrahima Konaté, and Theo Hernández — did not train. However, FOX Sports’ Jenny Taft reported that all 24 players were available for Saturday’s training session, and France perhaps is putting that flu bug in the rearview mirror.
IF FRANCE WINS …
It would become the fourth nation to win the World Cup at least three times. It would become the third nation to win back-to-back World Cup titles and the first since Brazil in 1962. Its record with Kylian Mbappé in the starting XI would improve to 12-0-0.
Mbappé would join Pelé as the only players to win multiple men’s World Cup titles before turning 24 years old. Hugo Lloris would become the first man to win multiple World Cups as captain. Argentina would join Germany as the most runner-up finishes at the men’s World Cup with four.
IF ARGENTINA WINS …
It would join Spain (2010) as the only teams to win the men’s World Cup after losing its opening match. It would become the fourth nation to win the World Cup at least three times. Lionel Messi would win his first World Cup.
THE STATE OF THE GOLDEN BOOT
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé lead the Golden Boot race with five goals each, however, Mbappé is technically in first place because he has more non-penalty goals. Messi would have to score in Sunday’s final to take the lead. If Mbappé scores, he would become just the fifth man to score in multiple World Cup finals and the second to score in back-to-back finals.
If Messi scores, he would become the first man to score in the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final at a single World Cup since the round of 16 was introduced in 1986. Julián Álvarez and Olivier Giroud both have four goals.
If Messi or Giroud win the Golden Boot, they would be award’s oldest winner.