After 63 matches and a thrilling month of action, Sunday’s breathless finale was the wildest conclusion anyone could have imagined.
After 63 matches and a thrilling month of action, Sunday’s breathless finale was the wildest conclusion anyone could have imagined to the first finals held in the Middle East and Arab world.
Messi came to Qatar looking to crown a glittering career by leading Argentina to a third World Cup triumph and managed just that after a staggering 3-3 draw ending in a 4-2 shootout victory against France.
And after a month of headline grabbing appearances as an ITV Sport pundit, former Ireland captain Keane saved up a few gems for the Final.
Keane sparked debate when he lashed out at Brazil’s players and head coach for dancing when they scored goals at the World Cup, but he changed his tune as Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni danced for joy with his family after his side’s win.
"He has got them over the line and that’s what it’s all about,” he said of the Argentina boss.
"Dance all you like… they will be dancing in the hotel tonight. Dance for the next ten years. That’s when you dance, when you win it.
"The images we see at the end are so important. The families on the pitch. They have sacrificed a lot and they do so much to support the player.
"They are the sacrifices you have to make.
Keane suggested Argentina were worthy winners after a remarkable game that swung dramatically throughout, with Messi getting the bulk of his praise.
"Fantastic, you can’t say any more about him,” he said of Argentina’s captain. “Worthy winners, they were fantastic.
"It’s been a great tournament. Very, very long, but some good football along the way.”
Keane went on to voiced his concern that he might not sleep in his Qatar hotel room as Argentina fans will be celebrating through the night.
“The only problem for us now, our hotel tonight,” said Keane.
"They've been singing every night for the last two and a bit weeks. It will be a late night but their fans have been superb throughout the tournament.
"They turned up in numbers, even after the setback in the first game, they stayed behind them and you can't begrudge their supporters for the bit of glory that they're getting today. They stuck with their team. Fantastic."
Keane was less complimentary when he summed up the performance from France, with Zinedine Zidane now expected to take over from Didier Deschamps as Les Bleus head coach.
France are in Ireland’s group for the Euro 2024 qualifiers in March, with Keane joking Zidane cheekily suggesting the World Cup finalists might be intimidated by that prospect of a game in Dublin.
"I think he will be looking at the next few months and they are playing Ireland in March in Dublin. He’ll be resigning looking at that game. He won’t fancy,” added Keane sarcastically.