Didier Deschamps insists France will do ‘everything humanly possible’ to deny Lionel Messi his fairytale World Cup win at 35 ahead of Qatar 2022 final against Argentina
France coach Didier Deschamps has claimed his side will do ‘everything humanly possible’ to stop Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup, after the holders booked their place in Sunday’s final against Argentina.
Deschamps is aiming to lead France to back-to-back World Cup triumphs, with only a Messi-inspired Argentina standing in Les Blues’ way.
France earned their place in the World Cup final following a 2-0 win over tournament surprise package Morocco, with goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani giving the reigning champions victory.
Didier Deschamps says France will do everything to stop Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup
Didier Deschamps is seeking to lead France to consecutive World Cup titles on Sunday
Deschamps was asked about Argentina’s pursuit of their third World Cup, with Messi hoping to emulate Diego Maradona in lifting the trophy.
‘We will do everything humanly possible for that not to happen,’ Deschamps told BeIN Sport in a post-match interview. ‘At the end of the match, someone is getting a third star on their shirt.’
Deschamps went into further detail in his post-match press conference, discussing the difference between the current Argentina side and the one his France side overcame four years ago in Russia.
The reigning champions beat Morocco 2-0 in the semi-finals to maintain their title defence
France earned a 4-3 win over Argentina in the last-16 in 2018, on route to lifting the World Cup for the second time.
‘He [Messi] actually played as a centre-forward against us, which caught us by surprise four years ago,’ Deschamps said. ‘Whereas now he is in tandem, just in behind the centre-forward, he is picking up the ball a lot and he is running with it and looking in great form.
‘He is one of the best players in the world and he has shown that, so of course we are going to try and counter Messi’s threat and stop him influencing the game and Argentina will try and stop the influence of some of my players.
Messi inspired Argentina’s 3-0 win over Croatia in the World Cup semi-final in Qatar
France earned a 4-3 win over Argentina at the 2018 World Cup on route to lifting the trophy
‘This Argentina side is different to the one we played four years ago.
‘We have two sides with a great deal of quality and it will be up to key players to make a difference, maybe the team that makes fewest mistakes will win the game.’
Antoine Griezmann has admitted the prospect of facing Messi would present a totally different size of challenge, after the Frenchman produced a man-of-the-match performance in the semi-final win against Morocco.
Messi said following Argentina’s 3-0 win over Croatia in the semi-finals that the World Cup final would be his last ever match at the tournament.
The 35-year-old has inspired Argentina during their campaign, contributing five goals and three assists.
The World Cup is the only major trophy missing from Messi’s illustrious CV.
He previously got to the final in 2014 where Argentina suffered a 1-0 defeat to Germany after a Mario Gotze goal in extra time.