As Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to victory over France via penalties in the final to lift their third World Cup title at Lusail Stadium, Indian sports rose as one to toast the South American magician and the dramatic final in which Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick and ended on the losing side.
Argentina went 2-0 up in the first half with Messi scoring from the penalty spot and France responded in kind in the second half with Mbappe scoring a brace to make it 2-2 at the end of regulation time.
Messi seems to have sealed victory for Argentina in extra time by scoring his second goal before Mbappe scored his third goal of the night to make it 3-3 and take the match into a tie-break. Argentina eventually prevailed 4-2 in the shoot-out to win their third World Cup title — 1978, 1986 2022.
Indian stars took to social media to hail Messi and Argentina for their victory.
“Messi the Goat!!! Finally, his longtime dream come true!!! World Champion 2022!!!” wrote woman wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Twitter.
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri termed the final the best game of football he has ever watched.
“This is the best game of football I’ve ever watched. Every emotion displayed and felt for 120 minutes and then through every take from the spot. What a show. What a sport,” Chhetri wrote in his tweet.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar too took to Twitter to congratulate Argentina and Messi on their World Cup triumph.
“Many congratulations to Argentina on doing this for Messi! Wonderful comeback from the way they started the campaign. Special mention to Martinez for the spectacular save towards the end of extra time. That was a clear indication to me that Argentina would clinch this,” wrote Tendulkar on Twitter.
“Congratulations Argentina for FIFA worldcup 2022 What an exciting match, love it,” wrote India pacer Mohammad Shami on Koo.
Former India star Yuvraj Singh termed it an unbelievable game.
“Unbelievable game of football! Hard to express in words what it means to #messi and Argentina. Took me back to memory lane when a special bunch of boys did it for no 10!! #2011 ???? Congratulations to all the Argentinian fans out there. #FIFAWorldCupFinal @KMbappe (clapping hands emoji).
Just like Yuvraj Singh, most of the players on social media did not forget to praise and console Mbappe for his brilliant performance.