After almost a month of soccer, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is coming down to the best of the best. With Argentina and France ready to face each other in the final on Sunday, it means it is time for some Argentina bold predictions.

La Albiceleste is coming off a convincing 3-0 against Croatia in the semifinals. Prior to that, the South Americans defeated the Netherlands in the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout and Australia in the round of 16. Earlier in the tournament, Argentina finished first in Group C with two wins (Mexico and Poland) and a loss (Saudi Arabia).

The reigning champions, Les Bleus most recently won 2-0 versus the surprising Morocco team. They also defeated England and Poland in the knockout stage. In Group D, France finished at the top with wins over Australia and Denmark and a loss to Tunisia.

Reaching its second final out of the three last World Cups, Argentina will try to win its third trophy, the first since 1986 with Diego Maradona. This is most likely Lionel Messi’s last chance to win the World Cup, so there is a lot at stake.

With that being said, here are three bold predictions for Argentina as they play France in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday.

*Watch the World Cup LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

3. Ángel Di María comes off the bench late in the second half

Since losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, the Argentinians have been through a rebuilding process. Longtime contributors Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuaín retired, leaving only Messi and a few players reminiscing from that roster. One of them is Juventus’ Ángel Di María.

The forward has been an important piece of the Argentinian national team since making his debut in 2008. Currently in his fourth World Cup, Di María has appeared in 128 games and scored 27 times, ranking in the top 10 in both categories for his country.

However, his role has significantly decreased in the 2022 tournament. After starting in all group matches, he has only appeared in eight minutes in the knockout stage. That is mostly due to Di María dealing with injuries. Also, at age 34, he is perhaps in his final moments with the national team.

Still, with such an important match ahead, head coach Lionel Scaloni probably trusts his veterans to control the match. Whether Argentina is winning comfortably or trailing by a goal or two, Di María could finally make another appearance.

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The bold prediction is that he will come off the bench late in the game. It will either be a desperate move to find an equalizer or a way to honor his time with the national team with minutes in the final.

2. Lionel Messi scores his first goal in a World Cup final

Prior to winning the 2021 Copa América, Lionel Messi was often criticized for his performances in international play. Fortunately for the Argentinians, the soccer star is likely having the best individual tournament for the national team in his career.

So far in the 2022 World Cup, Messi has scored five goals and tallied three assists. This marked the first time he scored in the knockout stage, earning him some praise from the media and opponents. Additionally, he has surpassed his four-goal showing in 2014 when Argentina lost to Germany in the final.

The bold prediction is that Messi will keep his hot streak and score in the final. With that goal, he will join legends such as Pelé, Ronaldo, and Zinedine Zidane as players who scored in a World Cup final. If that happens, Argentina should be in a good position to lift the ultimate prize.

1. Messi wins his second Golden Ball

Regardless of what happens on Sunday, Messi has finally cemented his name as a World Cup legend. While a title would certainly be the cherry on top of his illustrious career, it is difficult to ignore what he has done.

Because of that, plus his great performances in the 2022 tournament overall, the bold prediction is that Messi will win the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. This would mark the second time he receives the award, the first being in 2014.

In the 2014 tournament, Messi was awarded despite not scoring in the knockout stage and failing to win the title. Based on everything he has shown this year, plus the narrative of him leading Argentina to the final at the age of 35, it would not be a surprise if FIFA awards him the Golden Ball as a tribute to his career.

So, the bold prediction is that he will be named the best player of the World Cup regardless of the result on Sunday. Should Argentina win, it will almost be a consensus that he deserved it. If France wins it, there will certainly be some debate about whether Kylian Mbappé deserves it more than Messi.