Lionel Messi emerged from the shadow of his fellow Argentinian 'phenomenon' Diego Maradona by leading his country to World Cup glory, says 1994 runner-up Arrigo Sacchi.

Messi clinched the World Cup Golden Ball after producing a series of talismanic displays in Qatar, scoring seven goals and adding three assists during a dream campaign.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored twice in Sunday's thrilling final against France, also converting in the subsequent penalty shoot-out as he became the first Albiceleste captain to lift the trophy since Maradona in 1986.

Sacchi, whose great Milan side battled with Maradona's Napoli in the 1980s, refused to compare the two Argentina greats but was delighted to see Messi replicate his compatriot's success.

"When Messi raised the World Cup to the sky, his eyes were wet with tears," Sacchi, who led Italy to the 1994 final, wrote in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I thought of Leo's entire journey, of what he won with Barcelona, of his dribbling, of his goals, of his acrobatics, of the many Ballon d'Ors he placed on the bulletin board. 

"Then, however, there was that sort of curse which he could not shrug off. Too often he was forced to play with the shadow of Maradona weighing on his shoulders.

"Too often they asked him what he could not give, and then he felt sad. He felt the responsibility to give happiness to an entire people and the fact of not succeeding in it pained him. 

"Now all of Argentina is at his feet. I don't feel like saying whether or not he has reached Maradona's level.

"I don't agree with these comparisons between champions who belong to different eras of football. 

"What I know is that Maradona was a phenomenon, and I knew him well, and I know that Messi is too, albeit in a different way."

Didier Deschamps said a virus in the France squad impacted their woeful start to Sunday's World Cup final, though he stopped short of blaming it for Les Bleus' defeat.

France failed to become the first team to retain the World Cup since 1962 as Argentina triumphed in a penalty shoot-out following a remarkable 3-3 draw at Lusail Stadium.

Before Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick enabled France to force extra time and penalties, Deschamps' side made a slow start, becoming the first team to fail to attempt a shot in the first half of a World Cup final.

France had been without Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano due to illness in their semi-final win over Morocco four days earlier, and several other players reportedly experienced symptoms in the days preceding the final.

Asked about the spread of the virus after Sunday's defeat, Deschamps said it played a role in France's lethargic start.

"The whole squad has been facing a tricky situation for a while now, maybe that had a physical and psychological impact," Deschamps said.

"But I had no concerns about the players who started the match. They were 100 per cent fit, but we only had four days since the last match so perhaps there is some tiredness. 

"That's not an excuse but we didn't show the same energy as previous matches and for the first hour we weren't in the match.

"In those first 70 minutes or so, we were playing a very aggressive and dynamic opponent and we weren't at the same level for a number of reasons.

"We managed to come back from the dead and made a magnificent comeback from a very difficult situation."

Deschamps made his frustration with France's first-half performance clear by becoming the first boss to make two substitutions before half-time in a World Cup match when he withdrew Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele.

Despite Les Bleus' failure to clinch the trophy for a third time, Deschamps praised the players he introduced, Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani, for reviving the contest.

"I went through a lot of different emotions tonight," Deschamps said. "There are some regrets because we were so close to winning but it wasn't to be.

"There were a number of reasons why, we had a very strong opponent and we were lacking a bit of energy from some key players.

"We had some young inexperienced players who came on and brought some freshness and quality. They got us back in the match to keep the dream alive."

Sergio Aguero pulled on a match shirt to join in with Argentina's World Cup celebrations – earning a teasing put-down from former Premier League rival John Terry.

Former striker Aguero retired in December 2021, shortly after joining Barcelona from Manchester City, when doctors discovered he had a heart issue.

He scored 41 goals for his country before having to hang up his boots, but Aguero was out on the pitch with Lionel Messi and a host of former team-mates, in the thick of the partying players, after Sunday's dramatic final against France.

Aguero was also in the dressing room with the team, drinking champagne as the revelry got into full swing.

It was the sight of him in a shirt but non-matching shorts and socks, and white trainers, that drew the attention of former Chelsea and England captain Terry, who knows a thing or two about turning out in full kit after playing no part in a game.

Famously, Terry donned his Chelsea kit to join in the trophy-lifting celebrations after the 2012 Champions League final, when the Blues beat Bayern Munich on penalties.

The skipper had been absent from that game due to suspension, but his status and contribution through the campaign meant he had a right to be involved when it came to accepting the silverware. Terry duly appeared in full match attire.

He did the same in the following year's Europa League final, after missing out on the game against Benfica due to injury.

Looking at Aguero's post-match outfit on Sunday, Terry wrote on Twitter: "If your [sic] going to do it, at least go for it and put the shin pads and boots on."

Paris Saint-Germain will challenge Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe to follow their phenomenal World Cup feats by delivering a Champions League title in the new year.

The Qatar-owned club have European glory in their sights, and a difficult last-16 tie against Bayern Munich awaits them, with games against the German champions coming up in February and March.

After seeing Mbappe win the Golden Boot as top scorer, and Messi take the Golden Ball prize as the outstanding player, PSG undoubtedly had a strong World Cup.

The sight of Mbappe and Messi in opposition with France and Argentina, as they were in Sunday's World Cup final, will soon be replaced by them uniting on the field, possibly even by the end of the month.

PSG have a Ligue 1 game against Strasbourg on December 28, and it remains to be seen whether coach Christophe Galtier will have both men available for that game, given Messi is heading back to celebrate in Argentina in the coming days.

In a string of messages on social media, PSG addressed the two chief protagonists in the final, in which Messi scored twice and lifted the trophy, while Mbappe hit a hat-trick but finished on the beaten side.

"An extraordinary final from our two Parisians," the club said. "One of them had to win. You'll forever go down in footballing history, @leomessi.

"What a final! Bravo @leomessi, thank you @k.mbappe for all these emotions. You have been heroic. You have marked this World Cup with your talent. You should be proud."

Whatever French envy there might be towards Messi should soon subside, with a photograph of Mbappe and Messi touching hands during the game receiving plenty of love from PSG's players.

Club-mates Nuno Mendes and Danilo Pereira both posted the picture, adding emojis of applauding hands.

Midfield stalwart Marco Verratti addressed Messi's success, writing on Instagram: "You deserve it friend. Congratulations."

To Mbappe, Verratti wrote: "Head high. You showed the whole world that you're a phenomenon."

"Congratulations" was the message from defender Juan Bernat to Messi, and "Bravo to you too" he said to Mbappe.

Former PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino praised Argentina coach Scaloni, saying in a message to his compatriot: "Congratulations Lionel. Thank you!"

Addressing Messi, Pochettino added: "Deserved @leomessi. Thank you!"

PSG have never won the Champions League, and it is the footballing holy grail for them now, with each incoming coach knowing winning domestic silverware alone is not considered to be fulfilling the remit of the job.

They went closest in 2020, losing out in the final to Bayern, for whom Frenchman Kingsley Coman scored the only goal in Lisbon. Coman was one of two France players to fail from the spot in Sunday's World Cup penalty shoot-out, along with Aurelien Tchouameni.

Given the outstanding form that Messi and Mbappe have shown over the last month, PSG may never be better placed to strike for continental trophy glory.

Yet there is another matter brewing, which is that Messi and Mbappe may be in the final throes of their club alliance.

With Messi's two-year contract at PSG due to expire at the end of this season, removing uncertainty over his future might become as great a priority as the next trophy.

President Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in early December the matter would be discussed after the World Cup, with Messi having been linked with a possible end-of-season switch to Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi expressed his disbelief after Argentina ended their long wait to clinch a third World Cup crown with a thrilling victory over France.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored twice in a dramatic six-goal thriller, with Lionel Scaloni's side emerging as victors following a penalty shoot-out.

It brought an end to a 36-year wait for World Cup glory, with Argentina previously suffering defeats at the final hurdle in 1990 and 2014 – the latter of which saw Messi on the losing side.

After a seven-goal haul and taking home the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament, Messi finally got his hands on the biggest prize of all and took to social media to share his thoughts.

"I dreamt about it so many times, I wanted it so much that I still can't believe it," he posted on Instagram.

"Thank you so much to my family, to all who support me and also to all who believed in us. We prove once again that Argentinians when we fight together and united we are able to achieve what we aim.

"The merit is of this group, which is above individuals, is the strength of all fighting for the same dream that was also the one of all Argentinians... We did it!!!"

Awarded player of the match in the final, Messi was expected to feature in a post-game press conference but skipped attendance as celebrations continued with the squad.

However, he did speak on the field following Argentina's triumph and made his desire to continue representing his nation clear.

"I enjoy being in the national team, the group, I want to continue living a few more games being world champion," he told TyC Sports.

Lionel Scaloni was left saddened by a sudden realisation late Argentina great Diego Maradona was unable to enjoy their World Cup success in Qatar.

Scaloni's side beat France 4-2 on penalties following a remarkable 3-3 draw after extra time at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

It was Argentina's first World Cup triumph since Maradona inspired them to glory in 1986, earning Lionel Messi his maiden success in the competition.

Maradona, who played for his national team between 1977 and 1994, died in November 2020 at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

His death was followed by three days of national mourning, putting into context just how significant a figure he was in Argentina.

And for Scaloni on Sunday, being reminded of Maradona's passing was difficult.

Asked what he would say to Maradona if he had been present, Scaloni told reporters: "Well, you make me realise that he's not here, otherwise you'd think he was amongst us.

"Well fortunately we managed to lift this trophy, something we've been dreaming of for so long, we're such a football passionate country.

"I hope he enjoyed it from above. I'm sure if he was here he'd have enjoyed it so much, he'd have been the first one on the pitch.

"Now you ask me this you make me realise he's not here. I wish he was here to enjoy this moment."

Lionel Scaloni says there will be a place for Lionel Messi in Argentina's 2026 World Cup squad if he has a change of heart after he lifted the trophy for the first time in Qatar on Sunday.

Messi scored twice in an incredible final against France, which the Albiceleste won 4-2 on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Argentina looked to be cruising to victory after goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria put them two up at the break, but Kylian Mbappe's late quickfire double forced extra time.

Messi put the Copa America champions back ahead in the additional 30 minutes, only for Mbappe to level once more for his hat-trick and take the game all the way to penalties.

Aurelien Tchouameni and Kingsley Coman failed to convert in the shoot-out, which Gonzalo Montiel ended by slotting in the winning spot-kick to make Argentina world champions for a third time.

Messi stated after the match he would carry on playing at international level, but the 35-year-old confirmed before the tournament started that this would be his last World Cup.

Argentina head coach Scaloni says his captain will be selected in four years' time if he changes his mind.

"First of all we need to save him a spot for the next World Cup," Scaloni told reporters. "If he wants to keep playing, he'll be with us.

"He's more than entitled to decide if he wants to keep playing for Argentina or not, or what he wants to do with his career."

Messi was pipped to the Golden Boot due to Mbappe's hat-trick, having started the match level on five goals.

Argentina's star man was, however, awarded with the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament and Scaloni heaped praise on the mercurial forward.

He said: "It's such a huge pleasure to coach him and his team-mates.

"Everything he transmits to his teams, it's unparalleled, something I've never seen before. He gives so much to his team-mates."

After throwing away a two-goal lead with less than 10 minutes to play, before again letting France back in during extra time, Scaloni was relieved it was finally mission accomplished for Argentina.

"The match was completely insane," Scaloni stated. "For me as coach, I know we had a good match.

"We could’ve won in the first 90 [minutes], however it was not possible. I wasn’t lucky enough, but we were great.

"My feelings? I have the best feelings ever. It wasn’t in my plans, I didn’t envisage to be World Cup winners, [but] we are, and what matters is how we achieved this."

The years leading up to this World Cup triumph have seen Messi take more of a leadership role within the Argentina team, despite having been captain since 2011.

Scaloni revealed Messi had even helped him to calm his nerves, after he took over in 2018 with limited experience.

"After the Brazil match [1-1] in San Juan, a World Cup qualifying match. I called him before he went back to Paris because I thought we were going to face challenging times," Scaloni said.

"The feelings were so strong and disappointment could be massive, because people are very passionate about our national team, and people could get disappointed.

"[Messi] said it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, we'll move on. if things go well, perfect, we have to try at least.

"That gave me so much energy, it was an emotional boost. With his answer, I realised we were doing things right."

Lionel Messi is the reason behind Argentina's glory in the World Cup final against France, Alexis Mac Allister believes, as he expressed his view that the forward is the greatest player of all-time.

Messi struck twice in a six-goal thriller to become the first player to score in every round of a World Cup tournament, with Argentina emerging as victors following a penalty shoot-out.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward was announced as the Golden Ball winner after the final whistle, while his appearance gave him the honour of featuring in the most World Cup matches in history (26).

Having added a World Cup to his trophy haul, Mac Allister believes the debate around who the greatest of all time is has ended.

"It's always Messi," he replied when asked by ITV what gave Argentina their victory.

"I think he's the best player in the world, the best player of all-time. He is amazing, he is a really nice guy, he is humble.

"He has everything to be the best player in history. It's amazing to share a dressing room with him and I'm very grateful."

Mac Allister also saved praise for goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who made a decisive save in extra time to deny Randal Kolo Muani before keeping Kingsley Coman at bay in the penalty shoot-out.

It was not the first time the Aston Villa stopper has provided heroics, with two saves in the quarter-final shoot-out against the Netherlands, and Mac Allister dubbed his compatriot as "amazing".

"Emi did really well, he is an amazing keeper, he helped us a lot during this tournament. I'm really pleased for him and really pleased for this country and for this team."

Brazil great Pele sent congratulations to Argentina after their breathtaking World Cup final victory, describing Lionel Messi's success as the moment "his trajectory deserved".

Pele, confined to hospital recently, has been attentive to events at Qatar 2022 and said Argentina's trophy win would have delighted the late Diego Maradona.

The big moment for 35-year-old Messi means he finally has a World Cup victory to his name, matching compatriot Maradona who was the driving force behind Argentina's Mexico 86 triumph. Maradona died in November 2020 at the age of 60.

"Congratulations Argentina! Certainly Diego is smiling now," Pele wrote on Instagram.

There was sympathy from 82-year-old Pele for Kylian Mbappe, who finished on the losing side despite scoring two penalties and a stunning volley to complete only the second hat-trick in a men's World Cup final, after Geoff Hurst's 1966 treble for England against West Germany.

Argentina lifted the trophy after a 3-3 draw on Sunday, winning the penalty shoot-out 4-2 after misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Messi scored twice in a classic match before both he and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Mbappe converted penalties at the beginning of the shoot-out.

The Golden Ball, for the tournament's best player, went to Messi for a second time, while Mbappe finished as top scorer with eight goals, earning the Golden Boot.

Three-time World Cup winner Pele hailed Mbappe's feat of hitting the back of the net four times, including the shoot-out, and he also offered praise to Morocco, who finished fourth after becoming Africa's first World Cup semi-finalists.

"Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way," Pele said. "Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved.

"My dear friend, Mbappe, scoring four goals in a final. What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport.

"And I couldn't fail to congratulate Morocco for the incredible campaign. It's great to see Africa shine."

Lionel Messi promised he would play on for Argentina to experience "a few more games being world champion" after inspiring their triumph in Qatar.

The World Cup belongs to Messi and Argentina after Sunday's spectacular final that saw Kylian Mbappe hit a hat-trick for France but still end up on the losing side.

A 4-2 victory on penalties after a 3-3 draw gave Argentina their third World Cup success, after lifting the trophy in 1978 and 1986, and means Messi's final appearance on the biggest stage of all ended in a fairy tale manner.

It was the trophy he had been striving to win before the end of his career, and the 35-year-old finished the tournament with seven goals and three assists, becoming the first player to score in every round and the group stage.

He took the Golden Ball award as the best player, but Mbappe pipped him to the Golden Boot with eight goals.

Messi told TyC Sports: "Obviously I wanted to close my career with this, I can't ask for anything any more. Thank God, he gave me everything. Closing almost my career like this, it's impressive."

Messi knows his career is winding down, and he put in the work to make sure he was in prime shape for one last shot at the World Cup.

His emotional reaction after the final whistle, kissing the trophy at the first opportunity, reflected how dearly Messi wanted this moment.

A double in the final meant Messi became the highest-scoring South American player in major international tournaments with 26 goals - 13 in the World Cup as many in the Copa America. That took him one goal ahead of Brazil great Ronaldo, who previously held the record.

"After this, what will there be? I was able to get the Copa America, World Cup… It came to me almost at the end," Messi said

"I enjoy being in the national team, the group, I want to continue living a few more games being world champion.

"It's every little kid's dream, I was lucky to have achieved everything and what I was missing is here."

Didier Deschamps will make a decision on his France future in the new year after overseeing Les Bleus' dramatic penalty shoot-out loss to Argentina in the World Cup final.

Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick – just the second to be scored in a men's World Cup final – saw France twice come from behind in a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time at Lusail Stadium. 

However, it was Mbappe's Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi who got his hands on the famous trophy, with Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni failing to convert in the shoot-out.

The defeat will likely revive speculation regarding Deschamps' future, with France great Zinedine Zidane having long been touted as a potential successor.

Deschamps, however, will take his time to weigh up whether to extend his 10-year stay with the two-time world champions.

"You're not first to ask. Even if we had won, I would not be able to answer that tonight," Deschamps said at his post-match press conference.

"Of course, I am very sad for the players and staff, but I'll have a meeting with the [French Football Federation] president at the start of next year and then you'll find out."

Messi scored Argentina's opening goal in the final after Angel Di Maria went down under Ousmane Dembele's challenge, provoking an angry reaction from several France players.

Deschamps made his own frustration with the performance of referee Szymon Marciniak clear after the game, though he also offered his congratulations to Argentina.

"I need to be careful what I say. You saw as well as I did. It could have been worse, could have been better," he said when asked about the officials' display.

"There were some decisions that gave rise to discussion but that's the case in every game. I said before the game that Argentina had been lucky, not that they were helped by decisions. 

"I don't want to take anything away from them, they fully deserve the title. It's not because of decisions that they came out victorious, and I just discussed this with the referee. 

"I don't want to get into what was said, I just want to congratulate Argentina."

French president Emmanuel Macron was seen speaking to Deschamps in the aftermath of Sunday's defeat, and he told RMC Sport he had encouraged the 54-year-old to remain in post.

"Of course, I asked Didier Deschamps to continue, I want him to continue! I told him he had to digest," Macron said.

Lionel Messi is a World Cup winner at the fifth and final attempt, after Argentina held their nerve to defeat France in one of the greatest matches in tournament history.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, who claimed a second Golden Ball with his brace, saw off domestic team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who bagged only the second-ever hat-trick in men's final history, to win in Doha.

La Albiceleste appeared to have wrapped up the prize after goals for Messi and Angel Di Maria in the first half, but were made to work for their triumph after France rose from the canvas to force extra-time – and then penalties again after a 3-3 draw.

But Argentina delivered in the shoot-out, winning it 4-2 to end a 36-year drought for football's biggest prize, and confirming one of their true legends adds the biggest accolade of all to his trophy cabinet.

Messi's long-awaited success at the tournament was widely celebrated by players and peers across the game, with Paris Saint-Germain colleague Neymar saluting him on social media.

"Congratulations brother," he posted on Twitter.

Romario, who like Messi won the Golden Ball and the World Cup trophy in the same tournament when he did so with Brazil in 1994, mentioned Argentina legend Diego Maradona, with this the first tournament since his passing in November 2020.

"I'm sure my friend Maradona is happy to see this victory, as are his people," Romario said on Twitter. "Congratulations Argentina!

"Argentina were better on the field and Messi received the title he was missing today, that of world champion for his country."

Andrea Pirlo, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, stated: "Great final... congratulations to Messi and Argentina!"

Jerome Boateng started for Germany against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, when a 113th-minute Mario Gotze winner condemned Messi's side to defeat.

Having watched Messi come back from that devastating loss to finally get his hands on international football's top prize, Boateng spoke of his joy at watching him finally lift the trophy.

"Congratulations Lionel Messi and Argentina. Finally you got the trophy you truly deserve," Boateng said.

Former Barcelona colleague Dani Alves was delighted for Messi on Instagram, stating: "Football loves you and those of us who love football respect you and congratulate you right now for that moment.

"Enjoy it with your family. As a Brazilian and as a South American, I know that's more than winning that cup."

Kylian Mbappe made France proud with an "extraordinary" performance despite Les Bleus' heartbreaking World Cup final defeat to Argentina, says president Emmanuel Macron.

France looked destined for a demoralising loss after going two goals down at Lusail Stadium, but Mbappe scored twice in the space of 97 seconds after the break to force extra time.

After seeing his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi put Argentina back in front, Mbappe converted a late penalty to become just the second player to score a hat-trick in a men's World Cup final – after England's Geoff Hurst in 1966.

While shoot-out misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni crushed France's hopes of retaining the trophy, Macron – who was seen talking with Mbappe after the defeat – said the forward had made his country proud.

"We were very far behind at the end of the first period. It's already happened, there have been comebacks like that, but it's very rare in the history of football," Macron told RMC Sport.

"We came back tremendously. It's extraordinary what Mbappe did, but the whole team were hungry again. I believed in it immensely. 

"Afterwards, we performed a second miracle by coming back from nowhere. We had match point.

"Mbappe is a very great player, but he is young, I told him he was only 23. He was top scorer at this World Cup. He won a World Cup [in 2018], he made a final. 

"I was as sad as him. I said he made us very proud and in the end we lost a football match, we went to nothing. That's sport."

Mbappe's treble took him to 12 World Cup goals in his career, drawing him level with Pele's tally and making him the youngest player to reach double figures at the tournament, aged 23 years and 363 days.

The France forward also became just the fifth player to score in two World Cup finals, after Vava (1958, 1962), Pele (1958, 1970), Paul Breitner (1974, 1982) and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2006).

Diego Maradona Junior wept tears of joy as Argentina laid their hands on the World Cup for the first time since his father led the Albiceleste to Mexico 86 glory.

Two years have passed since superstar Maradona's death at the age of 60, after a tumultuous life that was defined by his World Cup achievements.

Now Lionel Messi has followed Maradona into the history books as the captain, number 10 and driving force of a team that has conquered the world.

Maradona Junior posted on Instagram a video of himself sobbing, while saying: "We're champions."

He added in a post: "The cup is going to Buenos Aires."

Argentina landed the trophy in Qatar on Sunday by beating France 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after a sensational 3-3 draw that featured a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe and two goals from Messi.

Maradona's Instagram account, now administered by his children, showed a merged picture of Daniel Passarella, Maradona and Messi – captains of the country's 1978, 1986 and 2022 winning teams – each holding the World Cup trophy.

"ARGENTINA WORLD CHAMPION!!!" its caption exclaimed.

"I imagine your pride, old man.. Thanks for a new joy."

Rodrigo de Paul says Argentina were "born to suffer" after celebrating his side's remarkable World Cup victory over France in Qatar.

Lionel Scaloni's side held a two-goal lead at the interval against the defending champions, but a second-half brace from Kylian Mbappe turned the tie on it's head, with further drama to follow.

Lionel Messi scored his second of the game to hand Argentina the lead again in extra time, but a second Mbappe penalty clinched the forward his hat-trick, sending the game to penalties – where Gonzalo Montiel tucked home the deciding effort.

Having fallen at the final hurdle in 1990 and 2014, the win handed Argentina their first World Cup crown since 1986 and will result in a third star on their shirt – only Brazil (five), Germany and Italy (both four) having won more.

An emotional De Paul acknowledged the attitude of the Argentinian people with his post-match assessment, referencing the suffering his people have endured in history.

"We were born to suffer, we are going to suffer all our lives, but I will never forget this," he said on the field after the final whistle.

"I think we are fair winners. To be champions, you had to beat the last champion, and we did. This is a joy I can't explain."

Fellow midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who was crowned the best young player at the tournament, revelled in the "priceless" experience he enjoyed in Qatar.

"Being here, having the possibility of winning a World Cup with my country is priceless," he said. "My whole family is here, I'm going to carry it forever in my heart."

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