The stage is set, and we are poised for a grandstand finish at the world cup in Qatar as two superstars; teammates at club level with Paris Saint-Germain, look to make history and cart away individual accolades to go with it when Argentina lock horns with defending champions France in the World Cup final.
Lionel Messi has come out to say that whatever happens on Sunday, this is going to be his last World Cup match for Argentina, with the 35-year-old veteran looking to win his first World Cup and bow out on a high.
However, France on the other hand is eager to become the first back-to-back winners of the world cup since Brazil did it in 1958 and 1962 inspired by the great Pele, and Les Bleus also have in their ranks Kylian Mbappe, their best player and talisman who they hope will spur them on to victory.
In light of the foregoing, there is a subplot: the race for the Golden Boot, an award given to the highest goal scorer at the World Cup. With the current standing of things, both Messi and Mbappe are pegged at five goals each heading into the final. However, This is not a two-way battle as both Julian Alvarez of Argentina and Olivier Giroud of France still have a say in how things will turn as both have scored four goals and are just a goal behind in the race, with the latter also surpassing Thierry Henry to become France’s all-time top scorer during this World Cup.
The award for the Golden Boot is decided on the number of goals scored by an individual player. Still, in the event that there is a tie, then the award is settled using two criteria which are the number of assists, and the fewest minutes played. As things stand, and if they do remain the same, Lionel Messi will win the award thanks to his three assists to Argentina’s march to the final (the joint-most of any player at the tournament) while Mbappe has notched two assists for France.
However, this could all change heading into the final as Julian Alvarez and Olivier Giroud may have something to say about where the award ends up.