This will go down as one of the most thrilling finals in recent World Cup history.
View some of the best photos from a match to remember below, and check out CNN's gallery from the entire tournament here.
5:44 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
A golden night for Messi: Soccer legend is a World Cup champion at last
The crowd packed into Lusail Stadium was dominated by Argentina fans Sunday, plus plenty of otherwise neutral supporters who threw their weight behind La Albiceleste in hopes of seeing soccer great Lionel Messi finally hoist the World Cup trophy.
They were not disappointed.
Sunday's match in Qatar ended in glory for Messi, and played out as a fitting culmination of his extraordinary career.
Messi opened the scoring with a first-half penalty kick, making history as the first player to ever score in every stage of the tournament.
He scored again in the second period of extra time, buoying a shocked Argentina side that was still reeling from France's lightning-fast comeback.
And when all the pressure was on the 35-year-old during a penalty shootout, the exhausted veteran coolly deposited the ball into the back of the net.
Not long after, Argentina's talisman was celebrating with his teammates, and holding aloft a World Cup trophy that eluded him throughout a storied career.
The sublime finals performance moved Messi into the position of favorite for the Golden Ball award, which is given to the tournament's best player.
It's hard to imagine a better way to cap the World Cup career of a man many consider the greatest of all time.
4:25 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
Argentina wins the 2022 World Cup in an instant classic
It was the two superstars who stepped up first for their sides in the shootout. France kicked first and Kylian Mbappé, who had a hat trick in the game, blasted it by Argentina's Emiliano Martínez.
Next up was the legend. Lionel Messi approached the spot and calmly rolled one in to tie it up.
That tit for tat exchange was fitting for a match where each side's talisman turned in an inspired performance.
But after that, France missed their next two attempts to give Argentina a big advantage. And after Gonzalo Montiel made it four in a row for Argentina, it was over.
Going into the shootout, the two sides were tied at 3-3 after some truly epic moments of open play.
Messi’s two goals helped La Albiceleste capture their third World Cup and first since Diego Maradona led the team to glory in 1986 in Mexico.
The defending champion France was seeking to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cup titles in 60 years (Brazil 1958, 1962).
Despite the loss, France’s Kylian Mbappé’s hat trick secured him the Golden Boot, awarded to the tournament’s leading goal scorer.
12:55 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
Shootout for World Cup glory: France vs Argentina
After 90 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute periods of extra time, France and Argentina are still deadlocked in this instant-classic World Cup final.
How it works: Each team will get the chance to take five penalty kicks, and whichever side scores the most wins.
⚽️ = success
❌ = no goal
Kick 1: ⚽️
Kick 2: ❌
Kick 3: ❌
Kick 4: ⚽️
Kick 1: ⚽️
Kick 2: ⚽️
Kick 3: ⚽️
Kick 4: ⚽️
1:38 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
Unbelievable! We're heading to penalties to decide the 2022 World Cup
It looked like Lionel Messi had done it.
After a stunning second-half French comeback — thanks to two goals in about 90 seconds by young superstar Kylian Mbappé — France and Argentina went to extra time to decide the 2022 World Cup champion.
Early in the second period of extra time, Messi, who had already scored on a penalty kick in the first half of the game, took the ball on a rebound from a Hugo Lloris save and flicked it toward the goal. France's defense managed to clear Messi's offering off the line, but it had crossed over and Argentina was ultimately awarded the goal.
But it wouldn't be enough. In the 116th minute of this epic final, France was awarded a penalty. Already having scored twice, Kylian Mbappé stepped up looking to tie the match yet again. And he did just that. It's a hat trick for the 23-year-old.
It'll now be penalty kicks to decide the champion at the 2022 World Cup. This is absolutely unreal.
1:56 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
Late penalty for France — and Mbappé does it!
But there is still time for another twist!
In the 116th minute of this epic final, France was awarded a penalty.
Kylian Mbappé stepped up looking to tie the match yet again. And he scored!
It's a hat trick for the 23-year-old, as he coolly slots the ball into the net as if he had all the time in the world.
What a classic!
Argentina 3-3 France
1:38 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
GOAL! Messi breaks through in extra time
Messi the magician!
The legend got his second goal of the match and gave Argentina the lead in the second period of extra time.
And who else could it have been but Lionel Messi? He fed the ball to a teammate who hammered it toward the goal, but the French keeper Hugo Lloris parried the initial effort away. It fell to Messi's feet, and he prodded the ball into the goal.
The stadium erupted in euphoria, and there was an even bigger cheer when Messi was confirmed as the scorer.
He’s now leading the race for the Golden Boot again, because he has the edge in assists, the award's tiebreaker.
Argentina 3-2 France
CNN's Don Riddell contributed to this report from inside Lusail Stadium.
12:30 p.m. ET, December 18, 2022
Argentina and France still locked at 2-2 after first period of extra time
Argentina and France are still tied 2-2 after the first 15-minute period of extra time at the 2022 World Cup final.
After a frantic first period, La Albiceleste had two opportunities to regain its lead, but the first ricocheted off France's defense and the second slid wide of the goal.
The two sides will go another 15 minutes to see if either team can find a match-winning goal.
If neither side is leading after that, it'll be a penalty kick shootout to decide the champ.