Coach Didier Deschamps said the France national football team has not been too concerned about the virus that has infected many players in recent days as the team prepares to wrap up its World Cup campaign in Sunday’s final against Argentina.
Defenders Taiot Upamegano, Ibrahima Konade, Raphael Varane, midfielder Adrien Rabiot and striker Kingsley Coman were all injured during the week, although most recovered.
On Friday, Rabiot and Upamecano were left out of the squad for the semi-final against Morocco, leaving only Konadi, Koeman and Varane absent from joint training.
“We are trying to take as many precautions as possible, to adapt and adapt without going overboard,” Deschamps told a news conference on Saturday. Obviously it’s the case. It would be nice if that wasn’t possible, but we control to the best of our ability. »
The match at Lusail Stadium will be Deschamps’ third World Cup final after winning the World Cup as club captain in 1998 and coach four years ago.
Lionel Messi kept his cool on Saturday despite the pressure of facing a team looking to secure their first World Cup title.
“I don’t have any anxiety or stress. The most important thing in preparing for a match like this is to stay calm,” Deschamps said.
“In the World Cup final, the competition is there, but there is a special atmosphere,” he added. “But I know that the Argentines and some of the French also want to see Messi win the title.”
But captain Hugo Lloris says the match is bigger than Messi.
“This event is very important to focus on one player. It’s a final match between two great nations,” he said. “When you come up against that kind of player [Messi]You have to watch out for him, but this game isn’t about him. »
France have shown they can adapt to any type of team, which will be a great asset against Argentina, who tested several systems during the World Cup.
“Sometimes you have to be prepared to suffer. You have to make the most of the right situations,” said Lloris. “Tomorrow he will have a game plan that must be respected. We are still studying this team and preparing for this big game. There are things we are not always ready for. »
To counter that, he said, “We need the right mentality, to be ready to go up. We know we can play in possession and counter-attack. We have a lot of quick players up front. The strength is that our team is able to adapt to any kind of situation.”
When asked to compare the 2018 final against Croatia and Sunday’s match against Argentina, Lloris refused to look back.
We want to write our own story. We want to end it in the best possible way. Unless nothing is done, the hardest part is yet to come. “You have to be ready to go beyond yourself, to try despite the virus conditions, despite the exhaustion. We have to finish the job.”