Argentina ratings: Lionel Messi finally follows Maradona's footsteps as Martinez has night of his life in World Cup win | The Sun

LIONEL MESSI ended his World Cup career on the highest of highs as he led Argentina to a historic final win over France.

Until today the 35-year-old had won every trophy available to him except the World Cup.


But following a stellar performance, he finally got his hands on that iconic Jules Rimet trophy.

It was an incredible effort from a resilient Argentina side, especially considering THAT opening game defeat to Saudi Arabia.

On a historic day for football in Argentina, SunSport's Martin Lipton rates the performance.

Emi Martinez

Aston Villa keeper looked nervous before the game but had the evening of his life with that astonishing extra-time save from Kolo Muani and then shoot-out gamesmanship. 8

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Nahuel Molina

Kept a tight rein on Mbappe, forcing the france superstar to move to the middle. Slightly harder job with Thuram. Still the winner.  7

Cristian Romero

Spurs hardman left one on club skipper Lloris and also Hernandez but relishes these sort of affairs and absolutely loved every minute of this one. 7

Nicolas Otamendi

His brain-fade moment turned a victory cruise into a desperate fight for survival and opened the door for one of the greatest games of all time. 6

Nicolas Tagliafico

Wanted to get forward but delivered all he had to do defensively against both right-sided French options until he faded. 6

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ARGENTINA 3 FRANCE 3 (4-2 pens)

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Rodrigo de Paul

Argentina’s midfielder enforcer did exactly what it said on the tin. Nothing fancy, nothing eye-catching but created the platform his side needed. 7

Enzo Fernandez

Buzzed around in trademark style to slow France down whenever they tried to impose a rhythm on the game. Booked.  7 

Alexis Mac Allister

Brighton man had first shot of the final and brilliant run to set up Di  Maria. The Seagull has landed. 7

Lionel Messi

All the disappointments and frustrations can be forgotten. The little man has followed in Maradona’s footsteps. Always available, nerveless under pressure and there to score crucial goals and his spot-kick. 9

Julian Alvarez

City youngster has had better games in Qatar but he will not care too much now. Still been an outstanding month. 7

Angel Di Maria 

Surprise selection on the left of the attacking trident won the penalty with his directness and then slotted home after that lightning break. He left the field sure of victory before everything changed. 9

Subs:

Marcos Acuna (for Di Maria, 64)

Very much a “we hold what we have” change as Argentina ensured there was no way back for France. Didn’t quite work out that way. Booked. 5

Gonzalo Montiel (for Molina, 91)

Defensive change on the left in a bid to nullify the resurgent Mbappe in extra-time. Booked for conceding late penalty than scored to win it 6.

Leandro Paredes (for De Paul, 101)

Scaloni needed to make a change in a bid to wrest back control. Lucky he was only booked for shocker on Camavinga. 6

Lautaro Martinez (for Alvarez, 101)

Extra-time swap up front although Inter man could not get either shooting past Upamecano. 5

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German Pezzella (for Mac Allister 116)

Had not touched the ball before Argentina conceded France’s second penalty. 5

Paulo Dybala (for Tagliafico 120)

Barely time to touch the ball before the shoot-out drama. 5

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