Messi v Mbappé: World’s finest primed to fight over biggest prize in football

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While Argentina’s genius targets a successful swansong, his club teammate’s talent could help France retain the World Cup

After Sunday night, Lusail Stadium will turn into something else. The precise nature of its repurposing is vague: “civic facilities” including homes, shops and health clinics are among the proposals, although that will require populating an area whose eeriness strikes hardest on those days when World Cup crowds’ attentions lie elsewhere. But a legend has been built so perhaps they will come.

Qatar and its flagship venue have the showpiece they craved and demanded: this will for ever be the arena of Lionel Messi against Kylian Mbappé, two different yet markedly similar versions of football’s present, the world’s best forwards wrestling for a hat-trick of garlands. The story transcends physical structures, edifices, the existence of the pitch on which it will have taken place. It will stay told in the air.

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Written by Nick Ames
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/dec/16/messi-v-mbappe-world-cup-argentina-france-final-preview under the title “Messi v Mbappé: World’s finest primed to fight over biggest prize in football”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.