However, history is expected to be made either between Kylian Mbappe’s French camp or Lionel Messi’s Argentina team. After all, this year’s World Cup has been about writing new and rewriting old historical facts.
And Sunday’s final at the Lusail Stadium by 4 pm won’t be an exception as both sides, Argentina and France will be aiming for the third World Cup trophy in their fifth and fourth finals respectively.
As Messi seeks to fulfill Diego Maradona’s last wish, France will be seeking to break a 60-year-old record set by Brazil who won a back-to-back trophy in 1962.
And if Messi wins today’s final, it means he has demystified football.
While both teams are focusing on the tactical sides of their opponent, their fans in Nigeria have been on social media to drum up support for them in ways they could.
Some will say “Emi Lokan Messi” while another will say “Kylian Mbappe Lekan si”, using the political season in Nigeria to banter with their opponents. “Emil Lokan” means it’s your turn while “Lekan Si” means one more time.
However, both players who are teammates at PSG will be temporary foes during the duration of the game.
Why this statement?
Lionel Messi one time lost a World Cup final to a European country, Germany in 2014 and his fans are optimistic such an experience doesn’t resurrect against France eight years after.
Meanwhile, Mbappe, who demolished Argentina and its hosts in 2018 at the round of 16 is still in the business of breaking jaws and his fans believe he can replicate such a feat today.
Both players will be the center of attention today just like four years ago when Mbappe and Luka Modric were in a tough contest for the trophy.
Stats of both sides
Both Argentina nor France don’t have the luxury of history in their books. They have met 12 times of which Argentina won six, drawn three, and lost three to France.
More also, France and Argentina have only met thrice in any World Cup engagements with today’s upcoming game marking the fourth time. Of the three times they have played in the World Cup, Argentina has won twice and France once which was in 2018. The 2018 victory was also the Les Blues’ first ever over the La Albiceleste in 32 years after the 1986 friendly which ended 2-0 in favor of France.
In terms of history, Argentina has an edge against France.
To talk of their current performances, both Argentina and France have lost just once in the competition. Argentina lost to an underdog, Saudi Arabia while France was defeated by Tunisia for the first time in over a decade.
Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi will be seeking to score to be the sole winner of the golden boot for the highest goalscorer.
More also, both sides have similarities in their stats going into the final. France and Argentina have conceded five goals each, 33 corners, and an average of 50% possessions. France has scored 13 goals, one higher than Argentina which has 12.
With this, it’s likely to expect a closely patterned game between both sides. The only difference between both sides is their passes. Argentina uses the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and De Paul to make fluidity of passes. Both players have made over 800 passes in six games.
However, France uses the flanks more often due to the pacy wingers like Ousmane Dembele, Mbappe and energetic striker, Oliver Giroud who has strong aerial prowess. Giroud won more aerial duels, 56% than ground duels, 33%.
As it stands, if Mbappe wins the world cup tonight, he would be one less than Brazil’s legend Pele meanwhile, Messi’s winning the trophy will place him in the category of Maradona who was regarded as Argentina’s greatest.