Welcome to the biggest and shiniest salad bowl in the world – the iconic Lusail Stadium! The word “iconic” actually appears in the venue’s name, just in case you didn’t think it deserved credit.
Its imposing architecture looks as if it’s been plated in gold, and it’s perfect for a match that will decide the World Cup and the Golden Boot.
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé arrive here as the tournament’s top scorers with five goals each.
Tens of thousands of supporters arrived early and they have been pouring inside for the past few hours. Racks in the free flag booths are cleared an hour and 45 minutes before kickoff.
It felt like we were in Buenos Aires. Argentina definitely outnumbers the French fans here, and their legion is supported by countless Messi-worshipping supporters from Asia.
Every Argentine supporter believes that they will witness the destiny fulfilled today. That said, in the first World Cup since the death of Argentine icon Diego Maradona, Messi will finally lift the trophy in his final World Cup game, joining his late compatriot in the Pantheon.
Finding French supporters here is like digging for truffles. They know they are not many, but they will try to make their voices heard on a huge stage.
Outside, they bravely sang “Allez Les Bleus“It seems almost provocative, but they know that France itself stands on the brink of history and could become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back titles. If Mbappe can win at the young age of 23, we He can be praised as the next Pele.
Fate will now decide the outcome, but when an Argentinian fan walks by me with Messi’s face on one side and Maradona’s image on the other, I can hear the Argentinian fans singing, this song has become the unofficial soundtrack for the entire game.
It sounds almost like a lullaby, ending with lines like this: “Now let’s get excited, I want to win a third World Cup. I want to be world champion. And Diego – we can see him in heaven, Encourage Lionel to be a champion again.”