By Habeeb Kuranga
Today, in the middle of the desert, in a small Middle Eastern country, there will be a euphoria of excitement when the first whistle is blown in what is going to be the final fixture in the most prestigious sports tournament in the world hosted by Qatar.
One half lies the light blue and white stripes, giving their all in the stands for the team captained by, arguably, the best footballer in history, who are determined to give it all to lift the Mundial for the third time in their history.
The other half will comprise deep blue, swarming like bees in their corner with the hope of conquering the world also for the third time in their history.
The Lusail Stadium will create history by becoming the first Stadium to host the final of a FIFA world cup in the Middle East later today.
The Ravens NG sports reporter, Habeeb Kuranga, takes you through what you should expect before the kick-off of the grand finale.
Argentina will be appearing in the finals of the men’s FIFA world cup for the sixth time – the second most by any South American country after Brazil.
Lionel Messi could become the third captain in Argentina’s history to lift the Mundial after Daniel Passerella in 1978 and Diego Maradona in 1986.
If the Albiceleste triumphed later today, they would be the second nation to win the competition the most in the South American continent, with Brazil (5) holding the record for the most in the continent and also the world in general.
Since the 2006 world cup in Germany, Argentina has been the only nation outside of Europe to appear in a world cup final. Doing so on two different occasions, in 2014 and 2022.
France can become just the third nation to lift the Mundial in consecutive times after Italy in the 1934 and 1938 world cups and Brazil in the 1958 and 1962 world cups.
Since 1998, the Les Bleus (4) has appeared in the finals of the FIFA world cup more than any other team. Appearing in 1998, 2006, 2018 and 2022 WC finals.
After becoming just the third person to win the world cup both as a player and as a manager (after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer), Didier Deschamps is the fourth gaffer to lead a team to back-to-back world cup finals after Vittorio Pozzo with Italy (1934 and 1938), Carlos Bilardo with Argentina (1986 and 1990) and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany (1986 and 1990). He (Didier Deschamps) could also equal the record as the manager to win the world cup in back-to-back editions, after the legendary Italian coach, Vittori Pozzo, did so in 1934 and 1938.
Tottenham Hotspur and France’s goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, could become the first captain ever to lift the most prestigious world cup trophy after doing so in the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia. However, Italy and Brazil are the only nations to retain it but had different captains each time.
This is the 22nd edition of the FIFA world cup. The most expensive edition in its history, the first to be played in the middle of a desert, and also the first to be played outside its normal calendar.
Who is going to lift the Mundial and ultimately conquer the world?