• Argentina defeated France in the final on penalties
  • Messi finished the World Cup with seven goals
  • It was Messi's first World Cup victory

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has insisted that skipper Lionel Messi "should have a place in the next World Cup" and the "No. 10 will always be his."

Messi netted two goals and also scored in the penalty shoot-out as Argentina defeated France to lift the World Cup in Qatar. After coming close to winning the coveted trophy in 2014 and losing in the Round of 16 in Russia four years ago, Messi finally had his hands on his dream trophy Sunday.

It was Argentina's third World Cup win, the first since the 1986 triumph that came under late Diego Maradona.

Messi had earlier confirmed the 2022 World Cup final would be his last appearance in the tournament. Still, Scaloni is hopeful that the captain will be back for the 2026 edition, which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

"Messi should have a place in the next World Cup. If he wants to continue playing, the '10' will always be his," Scaloni told reporters after the match.

Scaloni, who was Argentina's assistant coach at the 2018 World Cup, entered the 2022 edition as the youngest coach. The 44-year-old has become the youngest coach to win the World Cup since compatriot Cesar Luis Menotti (39 years) in 1978.

"I cannot believe that we have suffered so much in a perfect game. Unbelievable, but this team responds to everything. I am proud of the work they did. It is an exciting group. With the blows we received today, with the draws, this makes you emotional. I want to tell people to enjoy, it's a historic moment for our country," added Scaloni.

Argentina's captain Lionel Messi prepares to collect the World Cup trophy

Messi, who scored in every round, won the Golden Ball to cap an excellent individual tournament. The 35-year-old forward finished the World Cup with seven goals and three assists.

After what turned out to be possibly the greatest-ever World Cup final, Messi said he wanted to play as a world champion, before adding "this was the only trophy I had wanted all my life."

"No, I'm not going to retire from the Argentina national team. I want to continue playing as a champion. It's crazy that it happened this way. I wanted it very much. I knew that God was going to give it to me, I had a feeling that it was going to be this way. Look at this cup, it's beautiful. We suffered a lot but we made it. We can't wait to be in Argentina and to see how crazy it's going to be. This was the trophy I had wanted all of my life. This was my dream since childhood," added Messi.

With the Qatar World Cup coming to a close, the 2022-23 campaign will resume now and Messi's focus will return to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The Parisian side is scheduled to take on Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Dec. 28.