Argentina v France – What history says

Kylian Mbappe

Two of the World Cup’s most historic and successful teams, Argentina and France, clash in the final of Qatar 2022 this Sunday. Both countries have lifted the famous trophy twice but a showdown between the two has never occurred in a major final before. Last time out, the reigning champions France did beat Argentina 4-3, with Kylian Mbappe scoring two to diminish Lionel Messi’s World Cup dreams in 2018.

World Cup Games Between the Two

France and Argentina have only met three times before. They first met at the FIFA World Cup in 1930, with Argentina managing a 1-0 win over France in Group 1, as it was previously known.

They didn’t meet again until 1978, on Argentine soil, with La Albiceleste victorious by a 2-1 scoreline , to set Argentina on their way  to win their first ever World Cup by beating Holland in the final .

France flipped the script 40 years later with their first World Cup victory over Argentina on their third attempt, propelling them to 2018 glory. Kylian Mbappe engineered a coming-of-age performance in that knockout clash, winning a penalty and then scoring a brace.

All Matches Between the Two

Argentina holds a superior record in this fixture having won six of the 12 encounters between the pair. The other six meetings have been split by three wins for France, and only three draws in total. The rest are covered by friendlies, which are not competitive games to fairly assess the difference and superiority between these two outstanding football nations.


In my Argentina-Croatia semi-final prediction I predicted an Argentina win but thought that it would go to extra time. This time I believe regulation time will be enough, as Argentina mostly definitely will concede with France once again proving to be too strong. The French are tactically a lot superior without the ball and are happy to give the opposition the idea that they are controlling the game but in actual fact they are controlling the space and using their strengths which is the counter-attack and speed in transition from defence to attack, mainly through Mbappe and Dembele.

But with a previously hurt and motivated Lionel Messi in your squad anything is possible, he is the French team in human form. Meaning that he also makes  clever use of his energies and attributes in specific moments which instantly changes the momentum and mood. His ability to scan, find space and then unexpectedly explode without warning has become his greatest asset in the World Cup. He is also surrounded by future stars who go under the radar like Julian Alvarez, so the burden is not all on his shoulders.    

Lionel Messi's impact on Sunday will be crucial, he will give everything for Argentina to lift the World Cup title
Lionel Messi’s impact on Sunday will be crucial, he will give everything for Argentina to lift the World Cup title