- Katie Watson & Hugh Schofield
- BBC – Buenos Aires
Football fans in France and Argentina are counting down the hours until the World Cup final in Qatar, which promises to be remembered.
The two teams of the two countries seek to make history. The French aspire to be the third team to win the World Cup three times in the history of the World Cup, which began 92 years ago, to follow in the footsteps of Italy and Brazil.
Likewise, the coach of the team, Didier Deschamps, who led the French team to crown the title in the 1998 World Cup, aspires to be the first coach to win the title twice in a row, after the Italian Vittorio Pozzo.
As for the Argentines, their hopes and dreams rest on Lionel Messi, who many see as the greatest footballer of all time.
Messi hopes to crown his football career with the World Cup, which the 35-year-old says will be his last with his country.
The World Cup is dope welcome in Buenos Aires
In Buenos Aires, it is as if people’s happiness depended on this finale.
Argentina is suffering under the yoke of a heavy economic crisis. Millions of people in the country suffer from the scourge of high inflation and high prices.
In this gloomy atmosphere, Lionel Messi and his team of tango dancers appear and perform exceptionally well until the final match, so everyone in Buenos Aires seems to have put their worries aside and direct all their attention to football.
“This country is suffering,” says an Argentinean bar owner. “The World Cup unites us. We have this character. The greatest player in the world. He is loved everywhere.”
And not just Messi; But the whole Argentine team is a source of pride in their country.
The bar owner adds: “Every Argentine speaks for a manager. Everyone has a different opinion. But the moment we celebrate, we all cry. We cry a lot – and hug each other.”
As for Martin Rojas, the Argentine youth returning from France to spend a holiday with his family, he believes that Sunday’s match means a lot.
Rojas says: “My dream – not because since I was born in the 1990s I have not only seen Argentina win the World Cup, but also because this trophy is the last in Messi’s career – it is the last chance for him.”
Confidence in Paris as the countdown begins
In Paris, the enthusiasm reaches a fever pitch.
This final is France’s fourth World Cup.
The French enthusiastically share the statistics that their country has gone unbeaten in its last 10 World Cup matches against a South American team. Although the last defeat was in 1978 against Argentina.
In this regard, we cannot ignore comments made by Kylian Mbappe, earlier this year, saying that football in South America is not as advanced as it is in Europe, due to the low level of competition in South America.
Mbappe inferred the validity of his words that the last World Cup won by a South American team was in 2002 for Brazil, and that Argentina had not won the cup since 1986.
Perhaps Mbappe wanted to refer to the latest confrontations between France and Argentina, in the final eight of the World Cup Russia 2018, where the match ended with the victory of the French roosters with four goals against three for the tango dancers, and Mbappe himself scored two goals in that match.
As we can see, the French have a lot of reasons to be confident. But at the same time, there is a lot of reason for rehabilitation among the Argentines.
As the countdown begins, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte begin their trip to Qatar.
They will be accompanied by a delegation of prominent sports figures, including Stephanie Frappart, who earlier this month was the first woman to take over the task of refereeing a men’s World Cup match.
This is the second short trip by the French President to Qatar within four days, fulfilling a promise he made to himself at the start of the World Cup. Macron’s previous visit was in the semi-final match between his country’s national team and his Moroccan counterpart last Wednesday.
The French president is facing criticism from some French people who are concerned about Qatar’s record in terms of human rights, but it is generally observed that the greater France’s achievement in the tournament, the rarer the calls to boycott Qatar.