Brazilian icon Pele has congratulated Lionel Messi and Argentina after their dramatic penalty shootout win against France in Sunday’s World Cup final.

Argentina looked to be cruising to victory after goals from Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria put them two goals up at the break, but France hit back late on as Kylian Mbappe scored twice in as many minutes to force extra-time.

The South American side went ahead once again through Messi, but Mbappe netted a penalty to take the game to penalties. Argentina came out on top in the shootout, handing Messi the trophy he has craved throughout his career.

Lionel Messi finally won the World Cup as Argentina beat France on penalties in the final

Pele has congratulated Messi and Argentina after their dramatic victory in Qatar

Pele has been watching the World Cup from hospital as he is treated for a respiratory infection, but he was able to send out a heartfelt message to Messi, while also praising Mbappe who scored a hat-trick during the game and then found the net with his penalty in the shootout.

‘Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way. Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved,’ Pele wrote on Instagram.

‘My dear friend, Mbappé, scoring four goals in a final. What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport.’

As well as Messi claiming his first World Cup, this year’s tournament in Qatar also saw Morocco become the first African nation to make the semi-finals of football’s biggest international event.

Pele also praised Kylian Mbappe after he netted a hat-trick but still ended up on the losing side

Pele famously predicted that an African side would win the World Cup before the year 2000 at the end of his playing days.

While that did not come true, he acknowledged that Morocco’s run to the last-four in Qatar was a major step forward for African football.

The 82-year-old then left the final word for Argentina, and admitted that national hero Diego Maradona would be smiling down on the team after they ended their 36-year wait for their third World Cup.

‘I couldn’t fail to congratulate Morocco for the incredible campaign. It’s great to see Africa shine,’ Pele added.

‘Congratulations Argentina! Certainly Diego is smiling now.’

Pele congratulates Messi and claims ‘Maradona is smiling’ after Argentina’s World Cup win

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