Lionel Messi exited the World Cup stage by finally getting his hands on the Jules Rimet trophy after a final that left fans around the world open-mouthed. 

Here's how the game unfolded...

The day’s results

Argentina 3-3 France (AET, 4-2 on pens)

A (brief) match summary

Argentina 3-3 France (AET, 4-2 on pens)

Argentina dramatically claimed their first World Cup in 36 years to defeat holders France as captain Lionel Messi scored a first-half penalty and netted in extra time to complete his trophy collection in his last-ever game at the tournament.

In a match billed by many as Messi's final chance to cement his status as the greatest player of all time, as well as Kylian Mbappe's opportunity to win a second World Cup at the age of just 23, Argentina began on the front foot in their quest for a first World Cup triumph since Diego Maradona inspired the Albiceleste to glory in 1986. 

It was Messi who netted a 23rd-minute penalty after Angel Di Maria went down in the box from Ousmane Dembele's challenge before Di Maria crowned an exquisite counter-attack with a cool finish shortly afterwards.

Distinctly second best, France mounted a phenomenal comeback late on in normal time as Mbappe set up a grandstand finish by tucking home from 12 yards himself before clinically volleying in minutes later to leapfrog Messi in the Golden Boot race and extended the match by 30 minutes. 

Messi and Mbappe then traded places in those particular standings, the 35-year-old's close-range effort making it 3-2 in extra time before the young pretender completed his hat-trick from the spot after his curler struck Gonzalo Montiel's right arm. 

A stupendous point-blank save from Emiliano Martinez kept out Randal Kolo Muani just before penalties and the Aston Villa goalkeeper subsequently denied Kingsley Coman and distracted Aurelien Tchouameni in the shootout as Argentina emerged victorious courtesy of Montiel in arguably the most dramatic match of all time. 

Gonzalo Montiel touches the World Cup
Gonzalo Montiel touches the World Cup after his matchwinning penalty in the shootout

Goal of the day

Kylian Mbappe - France (his second)

The free-flowing move for Argentina's second was hard to top - and Lionel Messi's goal in extra time wasn't bad either - but when it comes to technique and timing, Kylian Mbappe's volley to take this absurd match to another 30 minutes was something special.

The move started with Kingsley Coman robbing Messi and ultimately progressed up to Mbappe, who smashed home sensationally after Marcus Thuram's sumptuous flick gave the Paris Saint-Germain superstar some space in the box. 

Save of the day

Emiliano Martinez - Argentina

He may have denied Kingsley Coman from the spot in the shootout, but probably Martinez's most crucial contribution was a superb spreadeagled stop to keep out Randal Kolo Muani in the dying moments of extra time. That led to penalties. You know the rest. 

Emiliano Martinez saves from Randal Kolo Muani
Emiliano Martinez's desperate stop at the end of extra time prevented Randal Kolo Muani scoring the winner

Player of the day

Alexis Mac Allister - Argentina

Lionel Messi or Kylian Mbappe would have been the narratively more satisfying choices, but Mac Allister was absolutely tireless in his running and perceptive in his passing, setting up Angel Di Maria's second goal with a superb square ball and playing a key role in several of Argentina's best moves. 

Magic moments

  • Lionel Messi has become the first player to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of a single World Cup
  • Kylian Mbappe is only the second player - after Sir Geoff Hurst - to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final
  • Enzo Fernandez had the most touches (118), successful passes (77) and tackles (10) in the match
  • Lionel Scaloni is the first Argentina head coach to win both the Copa America and the World Cup
Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez celebrate with Lionel Messi after the game's first goal
Lionel Messi became the first player to score in the group stage and all four World Cup knockout rounds
Enzo Fernandez makes a pass
Enzo Fernandez produced the most touches (118), passes (77) and tackles (10) in the match

Quote of the day

BBC Sport pundit Pablo Zabaleta sums up what the win means for Argentina:

"For our country, we will see a picture of Diego Maradona and Messi, two of the greatest players of all time, with the World Cup trophy. That is something so incredible"

Image of the day

Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup aloft while on Sergio Aguero's shoulders
Spot the winner: Lionel Messi sits on Sergio Aguero's shoulders and lifts the World Cup aloft with fans all around him

Said on social