CNN

How the world reacted to ‘the best World Cup final ever’

Dec 18, 2022, 2:38 PM
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with teammates after scoring...
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal via a penalty during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Originally Published: 18 DEC 22 15:59 ET

    (CNN) — This World Cup final was a game that seemed to defy comprehension, conventions and any attempt to describe it.

How could anything capture the sound in the stadium when Lionel Messi lifted the World Cup trophy? Or the calmness with which Kylian Mbappé slotted a penalty to equalize in extra time?

It was — as the world seemed to settle on in an attempt to sum it all up — simply the greatest final ever.

“Best World Cup Final ever,” Usain Bolt tweeted alongside pictures of himself in an Argentina jersey at Lusail Stadium.

“We’re breathless up here. It was just an unbelievable final. It was a pleasure to be here. I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like it again. It was staggering,” former England international Alan Shearer said on the BBC.

Messi’s penalty and Ángel Di María’s first-half goal looked to have settled the tie in normal time, but Mbappé scored two late goals — one from the penalty spot — in as many minutes to draw France level and force extra time.

With both sides’ feeling the effects of the scintillating finale, Messi looked to have scored a winner in the 108th minute in what would have been a Hollywood ending.

“My god, #FIFAWorldCup. This game is a gorgeous, evil curse. I love it so much make it stop,” actor Ryan Reynolds tweeted just after Messi’s goal made it 3-2 to Argentina in extra time.

But Mbappé, yet again, replied with an equalizer from the spot to take the game to penalties.

“Ok if I have a heart attack it’s cause I’m watching this #FIFAWorldCup,” Serena Williams tweeted.

“What a game man. If someone still doesn’t think this is the best sport ever…,” former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas tweeted as the players lined up to take penalties.

France’s Kingsley Coman saw his spot kick saved by Emiliano Martínez, who was named as the tournament’s best goalkeeper, and Aurélien Tchouaméni pulled his effort wide before Gonzalo Montiel secured Argentina’s third World Cup title and a first since 1986.

Telemundo’s commentator Andrés Cantor simply repeated: “Argentina es campeón del mundo” — Argentina is world champion — as he called the winning moment, hugging his co-commentator Claudio Borghi and his voice cracking with emotion.

Photos showed the streets of Buenos Aires awash with blue and white as people poured out to celebrate.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández tweeted: “Thanks to the players and coaching team. They are the example that we should not give up. That we have great people and a great future.”

Even Brazil, La Albiceleste’s great rival, sent congratulations.

“Happy with the victory of the Argentine neighbours. Great game from Messi, who deserved this a lot, and Di Maria. Congratulations to the players, the Argentina coaching staff and my friend @alferdez,” Brazil’s President Lula da Silva tweeted alongside an emoji of the Argentinian flag.

Former England striker Michael Owen tweeted: “Congratulations Argentina. Incredible game. Surely the best ever final? Messi puts the top hat on an unbelievable career but spare a thought Mbappe, a hat trick in a World Cup final yet goes home empty handed.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, who had travelled to Qatar for the final, tweeted: “Les Bleus made us dream.”

He appeared on the pitch afterwards and comforted Mbappé as the 23-year-old stared blankly into the night.

France’s Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne also tweeted, saying: “Thank you Les Bleus! We have trembled with you all, just until the end. Thank you for this journey, thank you for making us dream, thank you for this exceptional game.”

Related: Opinion: The long and winding road to the championship

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

Suspected arsonist appears on surveillance footage lighting Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
21 hours ago
donald trump...
Kate Sullivan, Gabby Orr and Kristen Holmes, CNN

Trump says he’s ‘more angry’ and ‘more committed’ to White House bid as he breaks his campaign trail hiatus

Former President Donald Trump said he's "more committed" to winning back the White House as he hit the campaign trail after announcing a third presidential bid.
21 hours ago
Atlanta Police Officers watch as protesters march during a rally against the fatal police assault o...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Protesters across the US decry police brutality after Tyre Nichols’ death

Protesters took to the streets to decry police brutality after the release of video depicting the violent beating that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.
21 hours ago
A hiring sign is displayed in the window of a Panera Bread store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, ...
Paul R. La Monica, CNN

Jobs report to give further clues about where economy is headed

Economists predict that 185,000 jobs were added last month, a slowdown from the gain of 223,000 jobs in December and 263,000 in November.
21 hours ago
Tyre Nichols Protests...
Nouran Salahieh, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose and Phil Gast, CNN

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
2 days ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
How the world reacted to ‘the best World Cup final ever’