Argentina

Argentina and England feature heavily in FIFA Awards finalists

Messi, along with his Paris St Germain team mate Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City's Erling Haaland, were among the 14 players shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

The trio are joined by last year's winner Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona, Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and PSG's Neymar and Achraf Hakimi.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, who won the 2022 Ballon d'Or award, is also in the shortlist.

Argentina fans dance, cry and cheer in streets as World Cup winners return

The team arrived in the early hours at Ezeiza city airport, where despite it being around 3am local time (7pm Tuesday NZ time) thousands were waiting with banners, flags and flares, and howling in joy at the victory, which came 36 years after the country's last World Cup victory.

By around midday in Argentina hundreds of thousands had congregated in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads shut down for the parade. People held up banners of Messi and late icon Diego Maradona, played instruments or climbed lampposts or bus stops.

Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties to win World Cup

Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman's penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide to give Argentina their first world title since 1986, and third overall.

France had come from two goals down to level over 90 minutes with Kylian Mbappe netting twice in two minutes, including an 80th-minute penalty.

The France striker completed his hat-trick in the 118th with another spot-kick after Argentina's Lionel Messi had tapped in for a 3-2 lead in the 109th.

Qatar 2022 on the brink of becoming Lionel Messi's World Cup

Just like Diego Maradona stamped himself indelibly on Argentina's 1986 win in Mexico and Brazil striker Ronaldo wrote a redemption story in Yokohama in their 2002 triumph, this will be known as Messi's World Cup if he inspires victory against either France or Morocco in the final.

Argentina's campaign in Qatar opened with the ignominy of what is still this World Cup's biggest shock, when they lost to Saudi Arabia.

Argentina thrash Croatia to secure final spot

The resounding win over Croatia secured Argentina a spot in the World Cup final for the second time in eight years, after they fell short against Germany at Brazil 2014.

Croatia made an impressive start to the game, defending well and attacking with energy and poise.

However, towards the end of the first half Argentina opened the scoring in the 34th minute through a penalty from Lionel Messi.

Argentina trust their system against Croatia

Croatia were not the favourites to reach the last four again but they came through two penalty shootouts in a repeat of their 2018 exploits.

"They have troubled many national teams. I won't mention the key players or their strengths and weaknesses but we've analysed where we can hurt them. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't," coach Lionel Scaloni said on the eve of the first semi-final.

Argentina beat Netherlands in penalty shoot-out to advance to semifinals

The first half of the long and fiery match proved to be a tight affair with plenty of tension on the pitch and the sidelines.

After an evenly poised start to the match it took a bit of magic from Lionel Messi to unlock the game, with the Argentina playmaker threading a perfectly placed pass in between the Dutch defense for Nahuel Molina to run on to.

Reuters reports the full-back took one well-controlled touch to take it into the box before coolly placing his shot past the Netherlands keeper to score the opening goal in the 35th minute.

Argentina win in Vancouver as All Blacks Sevens struggle

The Argentinians led 17-5 at half time and scored five tries to two.

The last time Argentina won a World Series tournament was in the United States in 2009, when current coach Santiago Gomez Cora was playing for them.

"I loved playing on the circuit, but ever since I have been a coach this has been the moment I have been working towards and my players must take all the credit because they work so hard and they wanted to win this one for their country so much," said Gomez Cora.

Ireland rack up record victory over Argentina

Back-row Josh van der Flier scored twice as the Irish wrapped up a fruitful end-of-year campaign in style at the Aviva Stadium.

Fellow forwards Andrew Porter, Caelan Doris, Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy and Tadhg Beirne also claimed tries to help Andy Farrell’s men stretch their unbeaten run to eight games.

Meanwhile, the exceptional Joey Carbery – filling in for injured skipper Johnny Sexton – backed up his match-winning cameo in last weekend’s stunning success over New Zealand by kicking 18 points.

All Blacks seek perfection as Argentina limp to finish

The undefeated All Blacks have already snatched the Springboks' world number one ranking and sealed the title last week with victory over the world champions in Townsville in the 100th test between the sides.

But coach Ian Foster wants no slip-ups on the Gold Coast before they head to the northern hemisphere for the first time in two seasons.

"We were delighted with the result last week, but weren't as delighted with the performance," Foster said.

"We want to take the things we learned and apply them."