PREVIEW: Fifa World Cup FINAL: France v Argentina

PREVIEW: Fifa World Cup FINAL: France v Argentina

SABC Sport previews the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 Final between France and Argentina, which will be broadcast live on SABC Sport Channels, SABC Radio Stations and

Final: France vs Argentina

18 December 2022

Lusail Stadium

KO- 17:00 (SA Time)

Match Preview: 


Match background 

Not only will this clash crown the champions of the world, but it’s then expected to play a part in deciding who gets the Golden Ball winner. 

All eyes are on the GOAT – Lionel Messi –  to lift the title for Argentina and add the one missing honour in what has been a phenomenal career. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, who only turns 24 later this week, has the hopes of the French team on his young shoulders. 

These are two teams that have perhaps shown the most grit throughout the competition so in that sense may be the most deserving of being in the final.



Argentina did not inspire confidence in their opening group game, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia to send shock waves around the globe. 

France lost key players Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema on the eve of the World Cup, but have looked lethal in front of goal anyway. 


On the back of previous encounters in the earlier rounds, goals are expected, especially seeing as both sides have several players able to unlock any defence. 


Team News


The South Americans welcome back fullbacks Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna from suspension, and the duo are definite options in dealing with striker Mbappe and the danger he poses as a key weapon for France. 

But considering that Argentina were so ruthless against Croatia, winning 3-0 without their two hard men, it’s possible coach Lionel Scaloni may very well opt to stick with the winning formula in the final. 


Scolani isn’t just focusing on Mbappe though. 

“To stop Mbappe you need a collective effort. But France is more than just Mbappe. We need to focus on making a good game collectively. The game is much more than Lionel Messi against Mbappe, it's Argentina against France, it goes beyond that,” he told media at his news conference on Saturday. 



Les Bleus were reportedly hit with a mystery virus and had to take up precautionary measures with a few players racing against time to be fully fit. 

According to several news sources in Qatar, a viral outbreak affected as many as five of coach Didier Deschamps’ key figures. 

Two regulars throughout this World Cup: defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate as well as attacker Kingsley Coman were part of the list, apparently two days after Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano had missed the semi-final against Morocco because of illness.  


There were concerns it was spreading, even though the media, albeit for 15 minutes, spotted the entire squad pitch for training on Saturday. 

“We are trying to take as many precautions as possible, to adapt as necessary and get on with it. Obviously, it would be better if this wasn't happening but we are handling it as well as possible with our medical staff,” said Deschamps. 


Players to watch

Lionel Messi 

Age: 35

Club: PSG (France) 


The little magician has produced some big performances at this World Cup with five goals from six matches. 

He goes into the final match of the tournament enjoying a purple patch and is aware this is his last chance to win the most coveted trophy of them all. 

It’s not likely that Messi will be part of the 2026 global showpiece if Argentina make it considering he will be closing in on 40 years.  


Kylian Mbappe 

Age: 23

Club: PSG (France) 


Messi’s club teammate has equally been impressive at this tournament and is tied with the South American on five goals from six games. 

He was voted the best young player at the 2018 Russia World Cup when France won it, but four years later he could help defend it and become the best player. 

Mbappe can create something out of nothing, and players like him decide the kind of games that are ordinarily very tight to call.