Argentina faces France in the final of the Fifa 2022 World Cup on Sunday at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail. This is what the stats have to say about this title match.
Argentina are competing in their sixth World Cup final, with only Germany (8) participating in more. They’re looking to win the trophy for a third time, along with 1978 and 1986, but defeat would see them with the joint-most World Cup final losses in history (4, level with Germany).
France has reached the World Cup final for the fourth time, all since 1998 (1998, 2006, 2018, 2022). This is twice as many as any other nation in this period. Les Bleus, the reigning champions, are looking to become only the third nation to win back-to-back World Cups, after Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962).
This will be the fourth World Cup meeting between Argentina and France. La Albiceleste won two of the previous three, but lost the only such encounter in the knockout stage, a 3-4 defeat in 2018’s round of 16. Overall, this will be the 13th meeting between Argentina and France in all competitions, with Les Bleus winning just three of the previous 12 (D3 L6), although the most recent was their 4-3 win at the 2018 World Cup.
France are unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup matches against South American nations (W6 D4). Indeed, their last such defeat came against Argentina, doing down 2-1 in the 1978 first group stage.
This will be the 11th World Cup final competed between a South American and European nation; South American sides lifted the trophy on seven of those previous 10 occasions. However, Argentina are responsible for two of the three such defeats for South American teams (against Germany in 1990 and 2014), while France are responsible for the other European win (3-0 v Brazil in 1998).
Having lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia on matchday one, Argentina could become the second side in World Cup history to lose their opening game of an edition and go on to lift the trophy, after Spain in 2010.
With Argentina losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia and France losing 1-0 to Tunisia in their respective groups, this will be only the second World Cup final where both finalists had lost a match en route to the showpiece. The other came in 1978 – when Argentina won the trophy after beating Netherlands 3-1 in the final, both having lost once each in their first-round groups.
France have won all seven of their World Cup knockout games since the start of the 2018 tournament. In World Cup history, only Brazil from 1958 to 1970 (9) have ever had a longer winning run in knockout matches at the finals (knockouts exclude first group, second group and final group but include group play-off matches).
Argentina have restricted their opponents to just 5.7 shots per game at this World Cup, fewer than any other side. They haven’t faced above 0.6 expected goals against in any of their six games so far.
France have the highest non-penalty expected goals (xG) total of any nation at the 2022 World Cup (11.9), while Argentina’s average of 0.40 non-penalty xG faced per game is the lowest in this year’s tournament.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi will become the all-time record appearance maker in World Cup history in this game (26). He could also become the first player to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal and final in a single edition of the tournament.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi has 11 goals and eight assists in 25 World Cup appearances. If he scores or assists in this match, he will be the first player to record 20 goal involvements at the competition (counting goals all-time and assists since 1966).
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé both scored for France in the 2018 World Cup final (4-2 win v Croatia). Only four players have ever scored in two separate World Cup finals: Vavá (1958, 1962), Pelé (1958, 1970), Paul Breitner (1974, 1982), and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2006). Aged 23 years and 363 days on the day of this year’s showpiece, Mbappé could become the youngest player to score in multiple World Cup finals.
France’s Antoine Griezmann has created more chances (21) and has a higher expected assists total (3.5) than any other player at the 2022 World Cup. Since Opta have this data available (from 1966), only one French player has created more chances at a single edition of the World Cup than Griezmann’s 21, with Alain Giresse creating 24 in 1982 and 24 again in 1986.
At 44 years old, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is the youngest manager to take charge of a World Cup final since Rudi Völler in 2002 (42), while he could be the youngest to win the trophy since his compatriot César Luis Menotti in 1978 (39).
France’s Didier Deschamps could become only the second manager to lead a nation to victory at two separate World Cups, after Vittorio Pozzo with Italy in 1934 and 1938. Deschamps has won 14 of his 18 matches as manager at the finals (D2 L2); only Helmut Schön (16) has more World Cup wins as a manager, while his win rate of 78% is the best of any manager to take charge of more than 10 World Cup matches.
Across the last two World Cup tournaments, the two players who have generated the most chances following a carry (moving 5+ metres with the ball) are Argentina’s Lionel Messi (27) and France’s Kylian Mbappé (22). Messi has had 17 shots and created 10 chances following a carry, while Mbappé has had eight shots and created 14 chances in this manner.
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could become just the fourth player to captain a side in consecutive World Cup finals, after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1982 and 1986), Diego Maradona (1986 and 1990) and Dunga (1994 and 1998). With each of the previous three losing at least one of their finals, Lloris could be the first to captain a winning team in two separate finals.