How Argentina won the 2022 World Cup

Messi won the World Cup in his final appearance at the tournament
Messi won the World Cup in his final appearance at the tournament / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Argentina held their nerve to win the 2022 World Cup by beating France in Qatar's final.

Lionel Messi's penalty and a breakaway strike from Angel Di Maria looked to have given La Albiceleste a famous win, but Kylian Mbappe's quick double saw the game go to extra time.

Messi looked to have produced his crowning moment when he tapped in after Hugo Lloris saved Lautaro Martinez's shot, but a penalty from Mbappe - which saw him become then second player ever to score a men's World Cup final hat trick - took the game to spot kicks.

Misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouameni proved vital before Gonzalo Montiel struck the winning penalty, sparking scenes of Argentine jubilation and French dejection.

Here's how Argentina won the 2022 World Cup.

Group stage

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia

Salem Al-Dawsari
Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

Argentina came into the World Cup as one of the favourites but had to overcome a poor start to eventually win the competition.

Lionel Messi had put the Albiceleste 1-0 in the tenth minute of their opening clash with Saudi Arabia. However, a quickfire double from Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari saw the Green Falcons secure a shock 2-1 victory.

Argentina 2-0 Mexico

Argentina v Mexico: Group C - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Argentina were too strong for Mexico / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Lionel Scaloni made changes for the next Group C game which came against Mexico.

A tight affair was eventually broken open by Messi, who collected Angel Di Maria's pass and walloped in a low drive.

The Paris Saint-Germain attacker would then provide an assist for Enzo Fernandez, who would wrap up the win with a second.

Poland 0-2 Argentina

Piotr Zielinski, Alexis Mac Allister
Mac Allister netted against Poland / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Argentina completed the turnaround from that shock defeat to Saudi Arabia to qualify for the knockout stages by beating Poland.

Both sides would qualify at the expense of Mexico and Saudi Arabia and beat Poland thanks to strikes from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez.

Mac Allister swept in Nahuel Molina's just after the restart before Alvarez finished into the top corner to seal the 2-0 win.

Knockout stages

Last 16 - Argentina 2-1 Australia

Julian Alvarez
Alvarez netted against Australia / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Finishing first in Group C set Argentina up with Australia in the last 16.

Scaloni's side hadn't looked overly threatening until Messi opened the scoring, stroking home in the 35th minute. It was his 789th career goal on his 1,000th career appearance.

An absolute howler from Mathew Ryan proved vital for Argentina's progression. The former Brighton stopper tried to dribble out but got caught by Alvarez, who tapped into the empty net.

Australia did pull one back when Craig Goodwin's strike deflected in and could have equalised when Aziz Behich dribbled past four players but just apply the finishing touch.

Quarter finals - Netherlands 2-2 Argentina (3-4 on penalties)

Denzel Dumfries, Frenkie De Jong, Leandro Paredes, Nicolas Otamendi
Argentina were pretty happy with victory over the Netherlands / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Messi looked to have inspired a straightforward victory over the Netherlands in the quarter finals. However, they failed to think of the Dutch big men who would bring Louis van Gaal's side back into the contest.

Molina struck first ten minutes before half time, and the lead was extended was Messi converted a penalty awarded when Denzel Dumfries brought down Marcos Acuna.

However, the aggressive encounter continued through to a penalty shootout thanks to two strikes from Wout Weghorst, with one being a brilliant set-piece routine 11 minutes into stoppage time.

Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis missed the Netherlands' first two efforts and though Enzo Fernandez's put the pressure on the Albiceleste, Lautaro Martinez smashed in the winner to take them through.

Semi finals - Argentina 3-0 Croatia

Lionel Messi
Argentina were too good for Croatia / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

World Cup semi finals are often tight and awkward affairs, but Argentina didn't fancy exerting themselves anymore than necessary and smashed Croatia to reach the final.

Another Messi penalty broke the deadlock before Alvarez struck four minutes later with his first, running straight through Croatia's exposed defence before prodding past Dominik Livakovic.

Alvarez got his second in the 69th minute, sweeping in Messi's cross after a brilliant run from the captain.

Final - France 3-3 Argentina (2-4 win on penalties)

Lionel Messi, Thiago Almada
Argentina were crowned world champions / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

How do we even start to describe the nonsense that went down in the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina?

The Albiceleste shot into a two-goal lead early in the piece thanks to a Messi penalty and Di Maria's breakaway strike but Kylian Mbappe's quick double took the game to extra time, where Messi and Mbappe would score again.

Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouameni missed from the spot before Gonzalo Montiel netted Argentina's fourth and game-winning penalty.