Fans of the Argentine team that claimed football's ultimate prize in Qatar this month are lining up in Buenos Aires for tattoos of victorious captain Lionel Messi and the World Cup trophy.
As fireworks exploded and some 80,000 people roared, Lionel Messi smiled. His Argentina soccer shirt covered by the bisht the Emir of Qatar had just draped him in – the cape reserved for top officials and sheikhs. He smiled, he paused, then he hoisted high the World Cup, a lifetime’s dream realised.
Lionel Messi, in his record 26th appearance at the World Cup, converted a penalty in the 23rd minute to give Argentina the lead in the final against France at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.
After a mesmerising month of upsets, when several brash outsiders threatened soccer's status quo, the World Cup final will have a familiar feel on Sunday when two of the sport's super-heavyweights go toe to toe, each seeking a third title.
Arsene Wenger has praised "leader of the orchestra" Lionel Messi as the Argentine great bids to inspire his team to glory in Sunday's World Cup final against defending champions France.
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez says the South Americans are happy to be underdogs as they prepare to face defending champions France in the World Cup final on Sunday.
Argentina look set to keep Julian Alvarez in attack for Sunday's World Cup final against France after he scored twice in a devastating combination with Lionel Messi in the semi-final.
Former World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann said the tournament in Qatar has shown the need for risk-taking players such as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed about his likely line-up as he prepares to face holders France in the World Cup final on Sunday.