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Photos: Argentina beats France on penalty kicks to win the 2022 World Cup

Argentina's Lionel Messi sits on Sergio 'Kun' Aguero's shoulders as their team celebrates their victory over France in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar.
David Ramos
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FIFA via Getty Images
Argentina's Lionel Messi sits on Sergio 'Kun' Aguero's shoulders as their team celebrates their victory over France in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar.

The 2022 World Cup came to an end Sunday, with Argentina as the victors. Argentina started strong in the final match with a 2-0 lead over France, but France's Kylian Mbappé quickly changed the course of the game with two goals of his own in the second half. With minutes left, Argentina's star player Lionel Messi broke the tie and scored another goal, and it seemed like Argentina once again had sealed their victory — until Mbappé, for only the second time in the history of the World Cup finals, completed a hat trick, scoring a third goal with a late penalty.

After a tense penalty shootout, Argentina emerged victorious. Argentina's goalkeeper, Emiliano Martínez, blocked France's second attempt, and French winger Kingsley Coman missed his penalty. The match ended with a final score of 3-3 and Argentina leading 4-2 in penalties.

<strong>Left: </strong>Argentina's fans celebrate the team's 2022 World Cup win against France at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18. <strong>Right:</strong> Argentina's fans react while watching the live broadcast of the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, Dec. 18.
/ Tomas Cuesta/AFP via Getty Images; Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images
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Tomas Cuesta/AFP via Getty Images; Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images
Left: Argentina's fans celebrate the team's 2022 World Cup win against France at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18. Right: Argentina's fans react while watching the live broadcast of the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Argentina's Lionel Messi holds up the winner's trophy after the team won the 2022 World Cup final against France on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.
Manu Fernandez / AP
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AP
Argentina's Lionel Messi holds up the winner's trophy after the team won the 2022 World Cup final against France on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

Argentina's run in this year's World Cup began with a shocking loss to Saudi Arabia. It seemed like Messi's journey in the tournament would come to a swift end. Instead, Argentina continued to advance, winning every subsequent game they played.

Their final opponent and defending champion, France, dominated their matches in Qatar. In the final match, France struggled to maintain that momentum in the first half. After the half, Mbappé's hat trick nearly turned the tide of the game. The pressure peaked in the penalty shootout, affecting the French team's ability to score.

France's Kylian Mbappé celebrates scoring his side's third goal during a penalty shootout to settle the 2022 World Cup final with Argentina on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.
Natacha Pisarenko / AP
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AP
France's Kylian Mbappé celebrates scoring his side's third goal during a penalty shootout to settle the 2022 World Cup final with Argentina on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.
France's fans cheer their team on during the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar.
Cui Nan / China News Service via Getty Images
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China News Service via Getty Images
France's fans cheer their team on during the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar.
Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his team's third goal during the 2022 World Cup final with France on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.
Hassan Ammar / AP
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AP
Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his team's third goal during the 2022 World Cup final with France on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

The teams' fans reacted around the world. In Buenos Aires, hundreds of thousands flocked to the streets to celebrate.

In this aerial view, Argentina's fans celebrate their team's 2022 World Cup win over defending champions France at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Emiliano Lasalvia / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
In this aerial view, Argentina's fans celebrate their team's 2022 World Cup win over defending champions France at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Argentina's fans celebrate their team's 2022 World Cup final win in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Victor R. Caivano / AP
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AP
Argentina's fans celebrate their team's 2022 World Cup final win in Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Argentina's fans watch the 2022 World Cup final in Ternate, Indonesia, on Sunday, Dec. 18.
RISQULLA / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Argentina's fans watch the 2022 World Cup final in Ternate, Indonesia, on Sunday, Dec. 18.

In a fight for third place, Croatia and Morocco also faced off this weekend. Croatia emerged victorious Saturday, with a score of 2-1. The loss did not take away from Morocco's historic run as the first African and Arab team to reach the World Cup semifinals.

Croatia's Joško Gvardiol and Morocco's Achraf Dari scored goals early in the match. After intense exchanges in the first half, Mislav Oršić scored and cemented Croatia's lead just before the half. Despite several attempts, Morocco was unable to score again.

Croatia's Joško Gvardiol heads to score during the 2022 World Cup's third-place play-off match with Morocco on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Ding Xu / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
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Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
Croatia's Joško Gvardiol heads to score during the 2022 World Cup's third-place play-off match with Morocco on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Croatia's Luka Modrić celebrates with his teammates after the team' secured a third-place finish in the 2022 World Cup play-off match with Morocco on Saturday, on Dec. 17, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Jia Haocheng / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
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Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
Croatia's Luka Modrić celebrates with his teammates after the team' secured a third-place finish in the 2022 World Cup play-off match with Morocco on Saturday, on Dec. 17, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The 2026 World Cup will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the meantime, soccer fans can tune into matches across Europe, where favorite players, like Messi, compete throughout the year.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Soccer fans hold up a flag of Argentina while celebrating the team's 2022 World Cup win over defending champions France in downtown Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Victor R. Caivano / AP
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AP
Soccer fans hold up a flag of Argentina while celebrating the team's 2022 World Cup win over defending champions France in downtown Buenos Aires on Sunday, Dec. 18.

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