Argentina vs. France is the most-watched World Cup final in US history

The previous record holder was Brazil v Italy in 1994, which also involved a penalty shoot-out on ABC.

As if we needed another reason to declare Sunday’s FIFA World Cup final between Argentina and France the best football game of all time. Argentina’s win, most recently for star Lionel Messi, was the most watched World Cup final in US and English-language TV history, according to Nielsen.

Argentina team, Messi and Fox are probably still kissing trophies as we speak.

Argentina-France totaled 16.783 million viewers on Fox and Fox streaming services.

The previous high came in 1994 when Brazil vs. Italy drew an average of 14.510 million viewers on ABC. This also went to penalties after a 0-0; Brazil triumphed 3-2. Excitement aside, the 1994 final drew additional American attention because of the venue: Brazil’s big win took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game between Argentina and France also surpassed a previous record set earlier in this World Cup when 15.491 million people watched the game between USA and England during the group stage.

Brazil-Italy is the only World Cup final in history to remain goalless after extra time. The PKs had a shocking result of their own when Silver Ball winner Roberto Baggio missed Italy’s crucial penalty. The rest is history. And so was Sunday.

Messi cemented his GOAT status on Sunday with two goals including the one that was nearly the game winner. But after a handball was called against Argentina in the 118th minute, France star Kylian Mbappé completed his hat-trick with a PK goal in the second half of extra time.

Both Messi and Mbappé converted their attempts in the penalty shootout final; Unfortunately for France, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was a stud. Martinez won the Golden Glove of the tournament, Messi won his Golden Ball, Mbappé won the Silver Ball.

The World Cup final looked set for a resounding victory for Argentina, who led 2-0 until the 79th minute. Mbappé then scored twice in the space of two minutes.

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Lindsay Lowe

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