Argentina Defeats France in World Cup Final

    Photo: Getty Images [via NPR]

    The Facts

    • On Sunday, in what has been widely described as the greatest World Cup final of all time, Argentina defeated France to win soccer's greatest prize for the third time in the country's history.

    • In Qatar's Lusail Stadium, Argentina's Lionel Messi gave his team the lead and was shortly followed by Ángel Di María who slotted in a 36th-minute goal — giving the Argentines a 2-0 advantage going into halftime.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    In spite of the criticism and scandal, Qatar got what it wanted: an exhilarating World Cup watched by millions. The icing on the cake was watching superstar Messi finally lift the World Cup trophy — a dream he has no doubt sought since first kicking a soccer ball.

    Narrative B

    This was nearly a perfect tournament — but that's exactly the problem. Once the games started, all concerns about corruption, migrant deaths, and the persecution of the LGBTQ community were quickly forgotten. Unfortunately, it demonstrates that "sportswashing" works.

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