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World Cup: Why France lost to Argentina in the final - Udeze

7:25 AM GMT 19/12/2022
France World Cup 2022
Nigeria legend Ifeanyi Udeze has explained why France lost in the final of the 2022 World Cup against Argentina on Sunday.
  • France lost 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw
  • Mbappe scored a hat-trick to bag Golden Boot
  • Udeze blames France's defeat on poor approach

WHAT HAPPENED? The Les Bleus failed to retain the trophy after losing 4-2 on penalties to Lionel Messi's La Albiceleste in a pulsating final at Lusail Stadium.

The game had ended 3-3 in normal and extra time with Messi putting Argentina ahead from the penalty spot before Ángel Di María made it 2-0. Kylian Mbappe grabbed a quick double and then Messi scored again, but Mbappe made it 3-3.

The 42-year-old Udeze, who represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup, has discussed France's main undoing in the final.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “France’s approach, in the beginning, was wrong. They could have started the game with the intensity with which they played the second half,” he told Brila FM as quoted by Daily Post.

“The solution was to attack, attack, and attack the Argentines. They were not supposed to relax if there was to be a change in fortunes earlier. They were playing ‘serere’ football and that wouldn’t help you.

“Aside from the Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry, a lot of Africans supported France because most of their players have African backgrounds.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The victory enabled Messi to win his first-ever World Cup trophy. He scored seven goals - one less than French striker Mbappe who won the Golden Boot award.

WHAT NEXT FOR FRANCE AND ARGENTINA? France will shift their focus to Uefa Euro qualifiers in March where they have been pooled in Group B alongside Gibraltar, Greece, Netherlands and Iceland. Meanwhile, Argentina have no assignment lined up.