Argentina vs France, FIFA WC final: Top star players to watch out for

Mbappe looks like he was destined for this stage, with nine goals in two World Cups, including five so far in Qatar.
Lionel Messi; Olivier Giroud
Lionel Messi; Olivier Giroud ANI

QATAR: Argentina's seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and France's 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe, but there have been many others who have played important roles in propelling these two teams to the final.

Let's take a look at the top six stars to watch out for in the FIFA World Cup final in Qatar.

Lionel Messi

While he has long been regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, many feel that only a World Cup victory will affirm his status as football's G.O.A.T.

Messi has 7 Ballon d'Or awards and 4 Champions League crowns to his record but is thought to have underperformed in the World Cups. He has five goals and three assists this year. He became Argentina's record World Cup striker and is vying with France's Mbappe for this year's golden boot.

Kylian Mbappe

Pele is the only player in history to have won two World Cups before the age of 24, but that could change on Sunday if Mbappe succeeds in the final.

Mbappe looks like he was destined for this stage, with nine goals in two World Cups, including five so far in Qatar. But the young PSG star is more than simply a goal scorer; his two assists this season demonstrate that he is equally proficient at providing as he is at scoring.

Julian Alvarez

Alvarez's four goals are a remarkable contribution to Argentina, but it is the significance of those goals that have set tongues wagging. A brace against Croatia in the semi-finals and an apparent instinctive ability to link up with Messi are just two reasons why you won't want to take your eyes off him in the final. He even had the great man himself salivating over his performances in Qatar, with Messi hailing Alvarez as "amazing".

Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann's transformation as a midfield maestro has been perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament.

He has pulled the strings behind striker Olivier Giroud and played a major role in the team's success. His ability to move people out of position against England in the QFs provided France space to exploit in their opponent's backline, a feat he duplicated against Morocco.

Olivier Giroud

He was not anticipated to start in Qatar but an injury to Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema has left him as Didier Deschamps' first-choice striker during the World Cup.

With four goals in this tournament, Giroud is tied for the second position in the scoring statistics with Argentina's Alvarez. In the final, he will be expected to lead the line alone and provide a robust alternative to Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Griezmann's offensive flair.

Enzo Fernandez

The 21-year-old produced a sensational goal against Mexico in the group stage, solidifying his position as one of Europe's most intriguing young talents.

He was part of a midfield four that suffocated Croatia in the semi-finals with grit and a never-say-die attitude. He possesses the ability to open up defences and will be expected to provide assistance to Messi and Alvarez as Argentina seeks its first World Cup championship since 1986.

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