Lionel Messi claimed the only major honour to have evaded him as his Argentina side beat France on penalties after a thrilling World Cup final ended 3-3 in Qatar on Sunday.
Messi opened the scoring with a penalty after a foul on Angel di Maria, who added the second with one of the all-time great World Cup final goals.
France offered little until the closing stages, when Kylian Mbappe scored twice in two minutes – the second a superb volley – to force extra-time.
In his last ever World Cup appearance, Messi looked to have won it in extra-time when he tapped in from close range but Mbappe completed his hat-trick with his second penalty in the 118th minute.
That put the Paris Saint-Germain and France striker on eight goals for the tournament, earning him the Golden Boot ahead of Messi.
But Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed for France in the penalty shootout, which Argentina won 4-2 to claim the trophy for a third time.
In winning the World Cup, the 34-year-old emulated the achievements of Argentina’s original iconic No10, Diego Maradona, who led his country to the title in Mexico in 1986.
Former Manchester United winger Di Maria, 34, tormented France and won a penalty in the 21st minute when he w as tipped by Ousmane Dembele after jinking past his man.
Messi converted from the penalty spot for the fourth time at this tournament, not including shootouts, after sending Tottenham and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way.
Di Maria then capped a brilliant counter-attack involving Messi and Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
In a desperate bid to wrestle back some momentum, France coach Didier Deschamps withdrew Olivier Giroud and Demebele for Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani before half-time.
The bustling Kolo Muani got them back into the game in the 79th minute when he dispossessed Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi, who brought him down for a penalty.
Mbappe scored with a powerful low spot-kick, despite Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez diving the right way, and 90 seconds later he struck again.
This time he played a one-two with Thuram on the edge of the box and took the return pass earl on the volley, which fizzed past Martinez and into the far corner.
Messi almost produced a sensational finale in the seventh minute of added time, lashing a rising shot that Lloris tipped over the bar to ensure extra-time.
But he did register again in extra-time, following in after Lautaro Martinez’s shot was saved and only confirmed via goal-line technology.
Mbappe wasn’t done yet either, however, winning a penalty with a shot that hit a stray arm and sending Martinez the wrong way to set up penalties.
Coman was first to miss, allowing Argentina to go 2-1 up in the shootout, and it was 3-1 after Tchouameni shot wide.
Argentina substitute Gonzalo Montiel clinched victory when he converted his penalty to give them an unassailable 4-2 lead.