Did France virus cost them World Cup trophy? Lloris sets record straight after Argentina defeat

France World Cup penalty shootout 2022
Hugo Lloris insists France will not use a pre-match virus in their camp as an excuse for suffering 2022 World Cup final heartache against Argentina.
  • Les Bleus defending global crown
  • Took Messi & Co all the way
  • Suffered penalty shootout heartache

WHAT HAPPENED? Several members of Didier Deschamps’ squad were left feeling under the weather prior to an epic encounter with Lionel Messi and Co in Qatar. Les Bleus dug deep in pursuit of back-to-back global crowns, as a Kylian Mbappe hat-trick saw them respond to falling behind in the first-half and extra-time, but they did not have quite enough in the tank as two failures from 12 yards delivered penalty shootout heartache.

WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed afterwards on whether illness had played a part in France’s undoing, national team captain Lloris said: “The virus? We're not going to look for excuses, we gave it our all, we did not cheat. We must congratulate the guys because until the end, we will not have given up.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lloris went on to say of coming so close to savouring another World Cup win, only for an unfortunate stumble to cost France dear: “It's a painful story, in any case that ends in a painful way. It's true that we missed the first half, with a lot of technical waste, we don't win the duels, they put us in difficulty. Logically they took the lead. In the middle of the second half, we had the burst of pride and the talent of Kylian to come back to 2-2. It was like a boxing match, blow for blow. Argentina had a successful start to the game, being aggressive, using all aspects of the game. We were a bit reactive all evening.”

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Kylian Mbappe France 2022 World Cup final

messi france


WHAT NEXT? Mbappe became the first man to net a hat-trick in a World Cup final since Geoff Hurst for England in 1966, while the Paris Saint-Germain superstar also claimed the Golden Boot, but France will now look to rebuild on and off the field before gracing FIFA’s flagship event again in 2026.