Argentina paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona during their World Cup celebrations on Sunday, as the national team won the trophy for the first time since the icon inspired them to the world title in 1986.
By beating France on penalties in Qatar, after the final had ended 3-3 following extra time, Argentina became three-time world champions and denied the French that same status. It was the first edition o the World Cup to take place since Maradona died aged 60 in 2020.
Lionel Messi scored twice on Sunday – while Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe netted a hat-trick to claim the golden boot – to finally lift the one trophy to have long eluded him.
After the Argentina captain did just that, the trophy was passed between his teammates. Defender German Pezzella could be seen carrying an Argentina jersey with No 10 on the back – a shirt from Maradona’s spell with the national team, when the former midfielder sported the number.
Maradona also coached Argentina from 2008 until 2010, overseeing their campaign at the South Africa World Cup.
Four years later, under manager Alejandro Sabella, Argentina were runners-up against Germany in Brazil, marking the third time that the national side had lost a World Cup final.
They then exited to eventual champions France in Russia in 2018, losing to Les Bleus in the last 16.
Argentina ended their 36-year wait for the gold on Sunday, however, with victory over the defending champions in the most dramatic of finals.
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