Argentina fans erupted in celebration on Sunday as Lionel Messi inspired his country to their first World Cup victory in 36 years.
“We’re champions of the world!” exclaimed Messi on the stadium microphone after his two goals and successful shootout spot-kick helped Argentina to the title.
Messi hugged his family members and team-mates after the stunning match that ended 3-3 after 120 absorbing minutes that included a Kylian Mbappe hat-trick and three successfully converted penalties.
Messi saved his best for last on Sunday, bringing the curtain down on his World Cup career by finally landing the one major title that has eluded him.
In the end, the greatest player of his generation, possibly of all time, bowed out with victory in arguably the greatest World Cup final of them all.
It was a perfectly scripted farewell for the 35-year-old Argentine captain, playing in what he has said will be his fifth and final World Cup tournament.
Messi was a beacon of calm amid frequent outbreaks of pandemonium at the Lusail Stadium as Argentina twice squandered winning positions, eventually taking the title on penalties after the game finished 3-3 in extra-time.