Argentina or France? Fans in Dubai pick their favourite ahead of Fifa World Cup final

The two teams will clash on Sunday in a heated Fifa World Cup 2022 finale


Husain Rizvi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Published: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 7:44 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 7:49 PM

There are two possible scenarios that could play out in the highly anticipated clash between France and Argentina in the Fifa World Cup 2022 finals.

One is, Argentina will avenge their 2018 World Cup defeat to France in the round-of-16 tie, and skipper Lionel Messi will go on to mark his last-ever World Cup game with his first-ever World Cup trophy, an achievement he greatly desires, and so do his hardcore fans, including this writer.

The other, France will go on to win their consecutive World Cup trophy.

The Les Blues won the 2018 final against underdogs Croatia, who crashed out of the tournament in the semi-finals after a 0-3 loss against Argentina. For the third-place, Luka Modric’s side will now face Morocco, who failed to beat France in the semi-finals, but overall had a great World Cup run and became the first Arab and African nation to reach the semi-final of a World Cup.

Argentina, who started out as favourites to win the World Cup, were frowned upon after their first tournament game ended with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Trolls went on to mock their skipper Messi. The Argentines, however, put their affairs in order and managed to win against all their opponents so far, including Mexico, Poland, Australia, Netherlands, and Croatia.

The Les Blues, meanwhile, with massive depth to their squad, look better than ever. Forward Antoine Griezmann is in top form, so are Mbappe and the others, as Didier DeSchamps’ side eye another World Cup to their name.

But UAE residents are more inclined towards the lighter shades of blue, the Argentine colours. This is Messi’s last World Cup, and the trophy is the only one the PSG star doesn’t have in his cabinet, unlike his fellow countryman, one of the all-time greats Diego Maradona.

“World Cup deserves Messi,” said Danyal Ahmad, a sales manager at Giordano. “The career he has had is something beyond belief. Not just Argentina, but every reasonable football fan wants to see that trophy in his hands.”

Alfred Daniel, an English expat residing in the Springs said, “At the beginning of the World Cup, for me Argentina wasn’t even in the picture…but the way they turned things around is absolutely ridiculous. After this run that little magician from Rosario now deserves it.”

There’s also a lot of talk on Twitter with netizens swarming the microblogging site with their opinions. “If Messi wins the World Cup, the debate ends,” a user wrote, referring to the decade-long debate of who is better between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal national failed to advance to the semi finals after his side suffered a 1-0 loss against Morocco. Cristiano was benched by his boss Fernando Santos for the first 50 minutes, a decision that sparked huge backlash and ultimately led to his sacking.

What happened after was a sight no Messi fan was ready for. At the fulltime of what is possibly his last ever World Cup game, considering he is currently 37, Cristiano was reduced to tears as he walked back to the locker room. “I am not ready to see Messi like that,” said Syed Abbas at a fanzone in Dubai. “It will be one of the greatest upsets in football history if the two greatest players of this generation end their international career without a World Cup trophy.”

“One last dance for Messi,” said Len Prasad, a Dubai-based director. “Can’t wait to watch him lift the World Cup, the GOAT deserves it.” (GOAT, in sporting context, is the acronym for Greatest of All Time).


John Dsouza, a resident of Oud Metha said, “If there is a God up there…we must see Messi winning that trophy on Sunday. That guy is absolutely mainline to pure footballing magic.”

While it is evident that the streets are lit up with Argentine colours, the French also have backing from their fans. “France will win because they’re going to keep tripping up Messi,” said Jasmine Pierre, a Dubai resident. When asked how the French squad will fare against Messi, she said that she thinks the defence will mostly focus on blocking his movement in the final-third.

Another confident French expat, Kamil Razat, said, “Messi is yesterday, Mbappe is now and tomorrow. We did it in 2018, we will do it again. We were favourites since the beginning and we will get the third star on our shirts.”

There’s no doubt that Messi has found a place in the hearts of many non-Argentines as well. But, it is always “nation above fangirling,” says Floran Audrey, a Parisian in Dubai. “Like Deschamps said, our team will do everything humanly possible to deny Messi the glory. I personally love what he does on the field but it’s always nation above fangirling, right? If it were Argentina vs any other nation I’d have backed Leo.“

Regardless of the result, the final battle for the World Cup will be etched in time as both Messi and Mbappe battle for glory.


More news from Entertainment