Who Said What: Sporting icons react as Lionel Messi is finally crowned world champion after winning FIFA World Cup
And it's done. After what has been a journey like no other, Lionel Messi has now completed football by winning the FIFA World Cup.
There was a feeling that this was always going to be his tournament, the ultimate swansong for the greatest player to have graced the beautiful game.
But no one would've predicted how it all panned out for the little man from Rosario during what turned out to be an unforgettable run in Qatar.
From the depths of despair against Saudi Arabia to scaling the highest peak in world football, it has been a journey far from normal. The stuff of dreams, really!
Argentina were deserved winners in the end and early signs suggested Lionel Scaloni's men would cruise to a win in the FIFA World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
Messi netted the opening goal from the penalty spot, calmly slotting it into the back of the net after Ousmane Dembele clipped Angel Di Maria's heels. He was involved yet again as Argentina doubled their lead in the 36th minute - 13 minutes after the opening goal.
The star forward produced a neat flick to initiate a move that ended with Alexis Mac Allister feeding an inch-perfect pass for Di Maria to send Argentina into seventh-heaven.
This was the perfect script, Argentina still sitting comfortably on their two-goal advantage with just 10 minutes left. And then the tables turned, the Argentine fans in the stadium shell-shocked.
Reduced to being a mere passenger for the majority of the game, Kylian Mbappe decided to get in on the act, perhaps quite fortuitiously at first. Nicolas Otamendi was found guilty of bundling down Randal Kolo Muani, the referee pointed to the spot and Mbappe took the chance with aplomb.
If his first goal stemmed from a bit of luck, the second was out of this world. Kingsley Coman regained possession in midfield before a neat exchange between Marcus Thuram and Mbappe.
The Frenchman then produced an outrageous finish to volley the ball past Emiliano Martinez, who could only manage to get a hand to it as the ball nestled into the corner.
The unthinkable unfolded in front of our eyes, Messi had it in the bag but could he remarkably fall short yet again? As the game moved on to extra-time, the tension became palpable.
Only Messi could save Argentina now, everyone knew it. And once again, it was him. It had to be him!
He was in the right place at the right time as he struck home from close-range after a rebound, despite an attempted goal-line clearance from Dayot Upamecano. As the Argentines celebrated, their little magician was nearly reduced to tears.
But it was far from over. Possibly the greatest game of football our generation has ever witnessed had another twist in the tale. Gonzalo Montiel was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area after a corner-kick and France were presented with a golden opportunity. Mbappe was never going to miss, he completed a sensational hat-trick and took the game into the penalty shootouts.
This was truly Messi vs Mbappe and they were both flawless on the night, even during the penalty shootout. But the ensemble cast behind one of them faltered. Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni failed to convert their spot-kicks as Messi looked up to the heavens, El Diego watching, surely!
In what proved to be an unbelievable game of football, Argentina and Messi remarkably triumphed 4-2 on penalties. What a story, the little man, the GOAT, has completed football. No questions asked!
On that note, here's how some of the biggest icons in the sport reacted to Messi winning the FIFA World Cup:
Some celebrities and the Indian Prime Minister also reacted to the FIFA World Cup final:
Lionel Messi hints at crazy celebrations after FIFA World Cup glory
Argentina's triumph in Qatar has sent the country into a frenzy. Messi, who guided La Albiceleste to their third FIFA World Cup title, has admitted he can't wait to witness the celebrations back in Argentina.
Speaking after the game, he said:
“We can't wait to be in Argentina to see how crazy the celebrations is going to be.”
Winning the FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly the pinnacle of what has been a career like no other. Enjoy it Leo, you deserve every bit of it.