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Lionel Messi became the first player in World Cup history to score in every round of a single edition of the tournament after putting Argentina ahead against France in Sunday's final.

The Argentina captain opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute when he calmly sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way after Ousmane Dembele felled Angel Di Maria.

Messi is the first man to net in the group stage, the round of 16, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final at one World Cup.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward also became the first to 20 direct goal involvements at the finals (12 goals, eight assists), while no player has scored or assisted in more different matches (14) than the 35-year-old, whose sensational campaign showed no signs of slowing.

Inter must "speed up" if they are to close the 11-point gap to Serie A leaders Napoli, according to striker Edin Dzeko.

The Nerazzurri lifted the Serie A title in the 2020-21 campaign for the first time in 11 years, though they then watched their city rivals Milan end their own drought the following season as Inter fell two points short.

Their bid to wrestle back the title from Milan this season has started poorly, having lost five of their opening 15 league matches, leaving them in fifth ahead of a return to action after the World Cup break.

But it is not Milan who lead Serie A, but instead their next opponents Napoli, who visit San Siro on January 4.

Under Luciano Spalletti, Napoli are unbeaten through 15 matches and hold an eight-point advantage to Milan in second, while Inter are lagging even further behind.

However, Dzeko believes Inter can still catch Napoli, though the forward acknowledged a sharp upturn in form will be required if they are to do so.

"We have to give credit to them if they [Napoli] have accumulated this gap," Dzeko told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Of course, 11 points are too many.

"It's pointless to think back on those months, rack your brains and rack your brains.

"The only thing we can do now, I repeat, is to speed up, because you can always make up for it."

Inter visit Napoli for the return clash on May 21.

Achraf Hakimi has apologised to Gianni Infantino following his confrontation with the FIFA president.

The Morocco defender reportedly questioned Infantino on the level of officiating at the World Cup following the Atlas Lions' defeat by Croatia in the third-place play-off.

Walid Regragui's side were denied a potential penalty against the 2018 runners-up when Youssef En-Nesyri's header hit Bruno Petkovic, while Ibrahima Konate's challenge on Sofiane Boufal also went unpunished in the semi-final loss to France.

But Hakimi, who also confronted referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim, has since expressed remorse over the incident, with the Paris Saint-Germain full-back acknowledging his frustration had boiled over.

"Nothing happened," he told reporters. "I was angry after the end of the match. I went to talk to him, and I apologised for the words I said to him. He is my friend and I respect him a lot, so nothing happened."

Morocco became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals, having topped Group F ahead of Belgium of Croatia, before overcoming Spain and Portugal in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively.

Harry Brook scored a third century of the series as England finished the second day of the third Test against Pakistan with a 29-run advantage.

In-form batter Brook struck a brilliant 111 as the tourists recovered from 145-5 to post 354 all out in reply to 304 and Pakistan closed on 21 without loss on another absorbing day at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Having started the day on 7-1, England were in trouble after Nauman Ali (4-126) got rid of Ben Duckett before Joe Root edged his first ball to Agha Salman at slip.

Ollie Pope made an assured 51, but was on his way after being bowled by a beautiful delivery from Abrar Ahmed (4-150) and Ben Stokes was run out for 26 following a mix-up with Brook.

England needed Brook to deliver again after the calamitous loss of his skipper and he continued his purple patch with a stylish innings, putting on 117 for the sixth wicket with the impressive recalled Ben Foakes (64).

Brook showed a combination of great timing and power, scoring a third hundred in on his fourth Test, and Foakes showed his class with the bat to frustrate Pakistan.

Mohammad Wasim trapped Brook leg before to end his sublime knock, but Mark Wood (35) and Ollie Robinson (29) offered support for Foakes with enterprising knocks to enable England to take a lead.

Abrar cleaned up Robinson to end the innings, with Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood negotiating nine overs late in the day to reduce the deficit without any damage being done.

Brook's dream start continues

It was only in January that the 23-year-old Brook played his first England game and a Test debut followed in September.

He looks very much at home on the international stage, hitting three sixes and a further eight boundaries in his latest outstanding innings.

Foakes shows his class

Wicketkeeper-batter Foakes missed the first Test due to illness and Pope kept the gloves for the second Test as England wrapped up the series with one match to spare.

Back in the side for the final Test, Foakes gave yet another demonstration of his class with the bat – as well as being a brilliant keeper.

Lionel Messi will break the record for most World Cup match appearances in Sunday's final against France after being named in Argentina's starting XI.

Messi's outing in the semi-final win over Croatia took his World Cup games tally to 25, level with Lothar Matthaus.

But he was unsurprisingly named among the starters for Sunday's showpiece at Lusail Stadium, with Messi aiming to win the World Cup for the first time.

Another lesser record is within his grasp as well, as Messi will be become the first player to score in the group stage, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final in a single edition of the tournament if he nets against Les Bleus.

That would also ensure he becomes the first player (since 1966) to record 20 goal involvements in World Cup tournaments, as he goes into the game with 19 (11 goals, eight assists).

Messi and nine others retain their places in the team from the semi-final, with the only change seeing Angel Di Maria come in for Leandro Paredes.

France's major concern ahead of the final had been the virus being spread around their camp.

However, they appear to have come through the worst of it, with everyone available for selection.

As such, Didier Deschamps reverts to his preferred starting XI, with Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot returning to the line-up – the former was only fit enough for a bench role against Morocco, while the latter missed out entirely.

There had been reports of additional players contracting the illness during the week, while Aurelien Tchouameni, Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud were said to be struggling with injuries.

But all were deemed fit enough to start as France aim to become the first European nation since Italy in 1938 – and just the third country ever – to retain their World Cup crown.

Drake, known for his frequent jinxes on sporting teams, has staked $1million on Argentina to beat France in Sunday's World Cup final.

With Lionel Messi set to face off against France in what will be his last attempt to finally achieve World Cup glory, the Canadian rapper is backing Argentina to be victorious at Lusail Stadium.

But this may not bode well for Messi and Argentina, with Drake having previously shown a propensity to 'curse' teams he is supporting, especially when it comes to gambling.

Just last month, Drake lost $2m when he heavily backed reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya against Alex Pereira at UFC 281, only for the Brazilian fighter to win by TKO and take Adesanya's belt.

The 'God's Plan' rapper also recently found himself $649,000 down when part of his accumulator had Barcelona to beat Real Madrid in October's El Clasico, which the latter won by a 3-1 scoreline.

Drake's record label OVO had its logo displayed on Barcelona's kit during that match as a celebration of him hitting 50 billion streams on Spotify, which currently sponsors the Spanish giants, where Messi is a club legend.

Drake was seen backing Argentina in Sunday's showpiece match on a video posted online with a friend, saying: "I'll take Argentina, he'll take France. That will be a vibe."

The 36-year-old has now put his money where his mouth is by placing the eye-watering amount on La Albiceleste to come out on top against the current holders.

Argentina fans and Drake will be hoping that Messi finally gets his hands on international football's elite prize, with the latter set for a total payout of $2.75m if Lionel Scaloni's men lift the trophy.

Gareth Southgate's decision to stay on as England manager has been welcomed by Gary Neville, who believes the Three Lions can win a tournament under his watch.

Southgate said he would take time to consider his future after England's 2-1 defeat against France in the World Cup quarter-finals last week.

That loss represented the latest in a series of near misses for Southgate's Three Lions, who squandered early leads in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020.

However, Sunday brought confirmation Southgate would remain in post until at least the end of Euro 2024 – his contract expires soon after that tournament – and Neville is pleased with the decision.

"I think it's the right decision," former England right-back Neville told Sky Sports News. "I felt it needed to be dealt with and the fact it has come out overnight is welcome. 

"It puts it to bed, it allows everyone to focus for the next 18 months. If there is going to be a change, it will be after the next tournament; it means a proper succession plan can be put in place.

"It didn't feel right, Gareth leaving, and it also didn't feel like either he or the FA had got anything lined up, either in his own career or for the FA to replace Gareth.

"We've played well in this tournament, we played well against France, I thought we were the better team on the night and that happens in football sometimes.

"I know we always want an autopsy, a scapegoat, someone to blame, but it doesn't really exist for me in this tournament. I think the players, manager and coaches have handled themselves pretty well." 

England won praise for adopting a more positive approach in Qatar than at previous tournaments, with their tally of 13 goals in this campaign their highest at any World Cup or European Championship.

While some have suggested England need an experienced winner to get them over the line, Neville feels the Three Lions have made progress and could win a trophy under Southgate.

"This idea they're mutually exclusive and you can't have what Gareth's brought – which is respect, integrity, good football, good performances – and then win, I don't go along with that," Neville said. "This idea that Gareth Southgate can't win a tournament with England, I don't buy into it.

"We brought in Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was apparently a hard winner, and so was Fabio Capello, coaches who had success at club level, and they didn't deliver anything like what Gareth has delivered with England. Let's put that to bed.

"Over the last 10 years, we've wanted a better team, a more technical team, better performances, getting to the latter stages of competitions, keeping possession... Gareth has done all those things.

"He has made us feel better about playing for England again, getting our players and our game respected around the world. We're in a good place. 

"With the women's success [at Euro 2022], with the youth team success, England have had a really good 10 years. 

"This idea we need to bring in this hard-nosed, killer winner and all of a sudden we'll be okay, I don't buy into it. I played with Southgate, I've known him a long time – he desperately wants to win."

Gareth Southgate will stay on as England manager following a valiant World Cup exit to holders France, with the Three Lions boss set to lead his side through Euro 2024.

The news will undoubtedly please many and frustrate a few others, as the most successful man to lead the men's national team since Alf Ramsey sets his sights on a fourth major tournament.

Despite lacking tangible silverware for his efforts, no manager has come closer to success with them than Southgate for generations, with his side serving up plenty of highs and a handful of lows.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look over some of the defining moments of his tenure in charge – from breaking long-standing national hoodoos, to falling just short of all-time greatness.

Breaking the penalty curse

Heading into their first major tournament under Southgate, expectations were low for England. Dismal campaigns at Brazil 2014 and Euro 2016 were not forgotten, after a placid loss to Belgium wiped out a rout against Panama.

When Colombia stuck late in regular time to force a penalty shoot-out in the last 16, fans were braced for the worst. But Southgate bucked the trend – and put his own demons to rest – as his side held their nerve with a cathartic win on penalties.

Missing the mark in Moscow

Reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1990, England had transformed the goodwill of a nation back home, and Kieran Trippier's early free-kick gave them the perfect start.

But with an early lead on the board, Southgate's side slipped into defensive inertia rather than chase a second goal – and Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic subsequently struck to deliver the first heartbreak of his tenure.

Nailing the Nations League 

Grouped again with Croatia and a highly fancied Spain side for the inaugural Nations League campaign, England made a rough start, with defeat to La Roja and a draw against their former semi-final foes in 2018.

But a Raheem Sterling double in Seville saw them stun their hosts, before Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane struck late to deliver bedlam at Wembley against Croatia and take the Three Lions to the Finals.

A Dutch downer

But once at the Finals in Portugal, England failed to heed the lessons of Russia, and surrendered an early lead once more against the Netherlands as they lost in the semi-finals.

Though they beat Switzerland on penalties to finish third – and claim their first medal result of Southgate's time in charge – it marked a bittersweet end to what could have been a serious silverware shot.

Euro fever hits

In a pan-continental edition of the delayed 2020 European Championship, England were blessed with home advantage for the majority of their games – and with each successive result, they delivered a shot to Southgate's tenure.

The defensively minded approach of the manager, with a double-pivot in Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, proved the perfect counter, and helped them reach the final, with a major win over old enemies Germany on the way.

Heartbreak against Italy

Forever the great "what-if" of the Southgate era, England headed into the final of Euro 2020 as marginal favourites, boosted by home advantage at Wembley and a Luke Shaw goal two minutes only strengthened their belief.

But across an ill-tempered encounter, Leonardo Bonucci's squeaky equaliser forced a shoot-out where the old ghosts reared their heads, as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed to hand Italy the crown.

Hungary like the wolf

On the back of a brilliant 2021, expectations were high as England entered a World Cup year, and they were favoured to do well in the latest Nations League iteration.

But a double loss to Hungary sunk their chances, and they were ultimately relegated from the top tier of the competition after struggles with Italy and Germany too – possibly the most humiliating moment of Southgate's tenure. 

An early bath in Qatar

With his reputation having been savaged in some quarters over 2022, it may seem weird to consider Qatar 2022 a high-water mark for Southgate – but the fact is it ranks among his most impressive tournament performances.

Incisive, attacking displays against Iran and Wales showcased his side's offensive nous, either side of a stalemate with the United States, as did a win over Senegal in the last 16.

While defeat to France in the quarter-finals was another great "what-if" moment, it marked the first England loss in a major tournament where they went down guns blazing. That points to a bright future – and Southgate may still be the man to harness it best.

Joel Matip has heaped praise on Liverpool team-mate Ibrahima Konate ahead of Sunday's World Cup final between France and Argentina.

Konate has featured in four of France's games en route to the final, earning plaudits for his display in the semi-final win against Morocco after replacing former RB Leipzig centre-back partner Dayot Upamecano.

The 23-year-old has started three games in Qatar and is averaging 6.9 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, the most of any player with three or more starts at the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Matip added to the praise Konate has been receiving, with the Frenchman having played a big role in the Reds winning the EFL Cup and FA Cup last season after his move from Leipzig.

"He's so young and [he has] so much quality already," Matip said. "He's showed that now again with the national team – with an amazing team. 

"He's shown the class he's got. He's self-confident, nice, and a really kind person.

"Especially [at] this age, it's amazing what he can do. He's strong in challenges, in the air, on the ground, the pace, [he's] comfortable with the ball – it's everything you need [as a defender]."

Konate was among the France players to have suffered from illness in recent days, but reports suggest he has recovered in time to be available for the final against Lionel Messi's Argentina, and Matip said his club team-mates will be rooting for him as the only Liverpool representative involved.

"Of course, he is the only team-mate left, so there is no hard choice for us to make when he is the only one," he said.

"I hope he comes back with a big smile – this will be a win then!"

Gareth Southgate will stay on as England manager through Euro 2024, ending speculation over his future following the Three Lions' quarter-final exit from the World Cup.

Southgate, who took charge of England in 2016, saw his side eliminated at Qatar 2022 after a 2-1 loss to France in the last eight.

Having previously led England to a semi-final finish at Russia 2018 and the final of Euro 2020, speculation had been rife over whether Southgate would step away from the role.

The 52-year-old said immediately after the France game he would take some time to consider his future.

But the Football Association has now confirmed Southgate will remain in his post for the European Championship in Germany in 18 months' time.

"We are delighted to confirm that Gareth Southgate is continuing as England manager and will lead our Euro 2024 campaign," the FA said in a statement on Sunday.

"Gareth and [assistant manager] Steve Holland have always had our full support, and our planning for the Euros starts now."

Southgate's contract, which he signed last year, expires in December 2024.

England's next match is in Euro 2024 qualifying in March, facing Italy in a repeat of the previous European Championship final.

Although Southgate heads into that qualification campaign still without major silverware, he has overseen more tournament wins than any other England manager.

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