Argentina and France fans confident of World Cup victory as excitement builds

A blockbuster final will feature two of football's biggest stars in Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe

Argentine fan Matias Ricci 26, centre, with fellow supporters outside Lusail Stadium. Photo: Ali Al Shouk
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Argentina and France fans are relishing a date with destiny in Doha as the two heavyweight teams prepare to face off in search of a third World Cup on Sunday.

Anticipation is building outside the 88,000-plus-capacity Lusail Stadium as a dream final draws near.

The match will not only pit two of the World's Cup most successful teams against one another, but will also be a showdown between two of the beautiful game's greatest stars in Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Messi - who looks set to bow out from the international stage after the final - was on the minds of supporters of both nations.

"It will be a tough match but we are confident we have the best player in the world and we have great team and we have the people here," said Argentine fan Matias Ricci 26, proudly clutching his final ticket.

"Everyone is supporting us here. These are historic moments we are having in Doha. I hope Messi will win the title for us to put his name beside Maradona.”

Tomas Santomero, 32, expects the party to extend for days if Argentina triumph.

"We are optimistic tonight that Messi and the team will make us proud again like in 1986. Argentina will win 3-2.

"We played well throughout the tournament and we have been the best team. We deserve to celebrate the title.

"I don't think we will sleep for days if we win tonight."

French confident of retaining crown

Marc Salah, left, travelled to Doha with his family to cheer on France. Photo: Ali Al Shouk

France's travelling contingent are greatly outnumbered by the sea of light blue and white cheering on the South Americans in Doha.

But as reigning champions, their supporters are confident of coming out on top once more.

"I'm thrilled to be here. I have strong belief that France will get their second title in a row tonight," said Jean Marc Salah, who travelled to Doha with his family.

"Messi will make his best performance. He has had a beautiful run during the tournament and he might be the man of the match.

"We respect him but the French team is solid and better than Argentina as a team."

Updated: December 18, 2022, 1:37 PM