Didier Deschamps understands many fans want Argentina to win Sunday’s World Cup final to send out Lionel Messi. Deschamps says some in France may want Argentina to win. Deschamps and France have struggled from the start. Final between Argentina and France is close. Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku, and Presnel Kimpembe joined Paul Pogba and Golo Kante on the sidelines. Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot missed France’s semifinal win over Morocco due to a sickness. Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konaté, and Kingsley Coman missed training two days before the final. Deschamps is calm. That’s how France reached the final.
Final between Argentina and France is close
In both the quarterfinals against England and the semifinals against Morocco, the French have taken a first-half advantage and then been willing to soak up pressure and play on the counterattack — a technique that worked four years ago on the country’s World Cup run. Will that work against Messi-led Argentina?
France understands Messi will be Argentina’s fulcrum as he tries to win his only major trophy. Lloris claimed his team shouldn’t just focus on Messi. Deschamps said he’d know more after Saturday’s practice whether any virus-stricken players will miss the final. Upamecano and Rabiot trained Friday.
Benzema tore a muscle in his left thigh in training the day before the World Cup. Benzema has returned to Real Madrid despite being enrolled with France. Deschamps said to focus on Sunday’s final players.
“I’m fine being alone in the world – that doesn t bother me,” he said with a smile.
“Plus, we are doing our best to take precautions and adapt as necessary,” he said Saturday in his eve-of-final news conference.
“We are trying to live with it, without getting too far, getting too carried away. We re just doing what is necessary.”
“Also, we are good as a team because we know how to adapt to different scenarios.”
“I believe the event is too massive to just focus on one player,” the goalkeeper said. “It is a final between two big football nations. Obviously when you face that type of player, you need a special focus on him, but it s not only about him.”
He continued: “Argentina is a strong team and there are a lot of other players – a young generation coming through – and you can feel they are all dedicated to Leo Messi.”
“Since the beginning of the World Cup, he has been injured and (left back) Lucas Hernandez got injured in the first game,” Deschamps said. “From that point onward, I have 24 players in my squad. “You know who those players are. They are the players at my disposal. I don t think it s fair to those players to ask about players who aren t here.”