- France reached a second consecutive World Cup final after beating Morocco
- Argentina, who beat Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final, now await Les Bleus
- French players believe they know how to get the better of Argentina and Messi
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is almost coming to a close, with the final two games already booked. Croatia and Morocco will battle for the third place on Saturday.
Argentina and France, who are both two-time world champions, will lock horns for the big one on Sunday to see if Les Bleus retains their title or Messi leads La Albiceleste to the ultimate trophy.
One man for whom Sunday will mean the most to his career is Lionel Messi. It will be his final chance to lift the World Cup, having come within inches in the 2014 edition.
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French players are aware of this and want to ruin the day for the seven time Ballon d'Or winner, to ensure they are back-to-back champions.
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What France players have said
France were still celebrating after seeing of Morocco, but quickly looked straight ahead to the goal on Sunday.
Speaking to The Athletic, the trio of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Aurelien Tchouameni shared their thoughts.
“Messi is an incredible player, but we’re not going to let him enjoy the best night that he can have. We want to win this game and the World Cup, and we will try everything to stop him."
The French trio explained that Messi was not the only player on the Argentina team, explaining the South Americans' strength was the quality of players and their dedication.
Les Bleus are without N'golo Kante due to injury, and Giroud mentioned his marking of Messi in 2018. However, the new plan lies with head coach Didier Deschamps.
“I remember in 2018, N’golo was all the game behind his back. This time, I don’t know what will be the plan; we will see with the manager.”
Griezmann and Tchouameni acknowledged Argentina being a difficult team to face - particularly when they are in form. They believe it will be tough final and La Albiceleste will enjoy the bulk of the fan support at the stadium.
“We will have to defend well and we will have to show all our qualities. Yes, there’s Lionel Messi, but there are also ten other players next to him who also have a lot of quality, so we’ll have to be ready, well aware of the opportunity we have to make history.”
Messi in last World Cup
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Sports Brief earlier reported that Messi confirmed his last World Cup game will be Sunday's final, regardless of the result.
He did not confirm if he would be totally retiring from the national team after the 2022 Mundial, but the Argentine captain will be 39 years old by the 2026 edition.
The veteran striker will hope to get one step further than the heartbreak of the World Cup final eight years ago.