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L. Messi

France will do 'everything humanly possible' to stop Messi winning first World Cup, insists Deschamps

7:38 AM GMT 15/12/2022
Lionel Messi Didier Deschamps
Didier Deschamps says France will be doing “everything humanly possible” to prevent Lionel Messi from capturing a first World Cup crown.
  • Argentina icon yet to claim global crown
  • Will faces Les Bleus in final of Qatar 2022
  • Both countries seeking third star for shirt

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina icon has led his nation to the final of Qatar 2022, where a meeting with the defending champions will take place on Sunday. Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is desperate to add a first global title to his illustrious collection of honours, but France have no intention of rolling over for an all-time great as they seek to add a “third star” of their own to national team jerseys.

WHAT THEY SAID: Deschamps has said of Messi chasing down a prize that will allow him to emulate the achievements of legendary countryman Diego Maradona: “We will do everything humanly possible for that not to happen. At the end of the match, someone is getting a third star on their shirt.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: France have previously savoured World Cup glory in 1998 and 2018 – while Argentina won football’s ultimate prize in 1978 and 1986 – but Les Bleus have seen their plans disrupted by a sickness outbreak in their squad. Deschamps has added on having Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot back at his disposal on Sunday: “Dayot will be fit. He will be back. Since Saturday he has not been very well for about three days. He got back to training a bit last night. But he had a fever and that impacted his strength. Given the tough match we had (a semi-final against Morocco), I decided not to play him and play (Ibrahima) Konate instead, because I know that he has already shown he’s good enough to play at that level. Adrien was sick and wasn’t well enough this afternoon and stayed in the hotel. Now we have three days to rest he should be better and available for Sunday.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? France were made to work hard for their place in the World Cup final, before eventually prevailing 2-0 against Morocco, and have shown to Messi and Co that they know how to win when not playing at their best.