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Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi World Cup Final Matchup Hyped by Twitter After France Win

Nick AkermanFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2022

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 14: Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates the 2-0 win after exchanging shirts with Achraf Hakimi of Morocco (not pictured) during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between France and Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium on December 14, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Kylian Mbappé's France will go toe-to-toe with Lionel Messi's Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final after the defending World Champions beat Morocco 2-0 in Wednesday's hard-fought semi-final.

Flying left-back Theo Hernandez did brilliantly to give Didier Deschamps' side a fifth-minute lead, taking advantage of some uncharacteristically poor defending from the African side.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS SCORE FIRST<br><br>Theo Hernández puts France out in front 🇫🇷 <a href="https://t.co/8YFbCwGN9d">pic.twitter.com/8YFbCwGN9d</a>

Morocco, undoubtedly the story of the tournament after a fairy tale run, had three injury worries heading into the tie. Key defenders Nayef Aguerd, Romain Saïss and Noussair Mazraoui were all struggling but named in the starting lineup.

Coach Walid Regragui's game plan was thrown out of the window before kick-off, though, as Aguerd was pulled moments before the game began. Saïss limped through 20 minutes before being subbed and Mazraoui was switched at halftime.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

BIKE KICK OFF THE POST<br><br>Morocco almost tied things up in an incredible fashion 😳 <a href="https://t.co/tdqSsyDs55">pic.twitter.com/tdqSsyDs55</a>

Morocco came out after the break in typically impressive fashion, forcing France into desperate defending on multiple occasions. Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi tormented goalscorer Hernandez down the French left flank, while midfielders Azzedine Ounahi and Sofyan Amrabat once again put in exceptional shifts.

France have a real knack of winning matches they don't dominate, though, as we saw in the quarter-final victory over England. Deschamps pushed Mbappé central after subbing Olivier Giroud for Marcus Thuram, a tactical switch that suddenly saw the tournament's joint-top scorer receiving more of the ball in dangerous areas.

This proved fatal to Morocco's chances just seconds after Deschamps brought on Randal Kolo Muani for Ousmane Dembélé. Mbappé's brilliant footwork ended with the ball trickling to Kolo Muani, who duly tapped it in for 2-0.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

79': Kolo Muani enters the game<br>79': Kolo Muani scores <br><br>What a way to score your first-ever international goal for France 🔥🇫🇷 <a href="https://t.co/EMapMJMkaB">pic.twitter.com/EMapMJMkaB</a>

The result sets up a dream final for neutrals: Messi vs. Mbappé for the biggest prize in football. Twitter, understandably, was more than a little excited.

Nick Harris @sportingintel

Morocco have lit up this World Cup, making massive strides for Berber, African and Arab football. Huge congrats for that.<br><br>But Argentina v France, Messi v Mbappe, two-times winners v two-times winners, PSG v PSG, in Qatar.<br><br>That's a final.

Ryan Bailey @RyanJayBailey

Kylian Mbappe and Leo Messi both go into the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCup2022</a> final on 5 goals, it's a straight shootout for the Golden Boot

Tancredi Palmeri @tancredipalmeri

So it's Messi vs Mbappé.<br><br>The two best player in the world, fair enough.<br><br>What is unbelievable is that THEY PLAY IN THE SAME CLUB!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FRAMAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FRAMAR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Fifaworldcup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Fifaworldcup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Qatar2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Qatar2022</a>

Faizal Khamisa @SNFaizalKhamisa

We're in for a treat Sunday. France vs Argentina for the World Cup. Messi gets his first, or Mbappe gets his second. Messi vs Mbappe for the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball, and maybe the Ballon D'or. Massive.

EuroFoot @eurofootcom

Lionel Andrés Messi. <br><br>Kylian Mbappé Lottin. <br><br>Argentina. France. <br><br>Sunday. World Cup Finale. <br><br>You cannot miss this. <a href="https://t.co/bjlMWsrGrw">pic.twitter.com/bjlMWsrGrw</a>

Sam Homewood @SamHomewood

Everyone hyping Messi vs Mbappe, while I'll waiting for Varane vs Martinez.

B/R Football @brfootball

ARGENTINA VS. FRANCE<br><br>THE WORLD CUP FINAL IS SET 🏆 <a href="https://t.co/Mwcor0bcgP">pic.twitter.com/Mwcor0bcgP</a>

Mbappé has the opportunity to secure a second successive World Cup at age 23. Standing in his way is arguably the greatest player who has ever lived; one who is desperate to win the trophy for the first time.

Mbappé or Messi? Whatever your answer, do not miss it.