- 2022 World Cup final on Sunday
- Les Bleus to face Albiceleste
- Plenty of superstars on show
WHAT HAPPENED? Few have been able to contain the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner over the course of his remarkable career, with the evergreen 35-year-old delivering another collection of talismanic performances for his country in Qatar. Messi has netted five goals for the Albiceleste during their run to the showpiece event at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, but France are ready to take the necessary “precautions” that will allow them to keep the all-time great quiet.
WHAT THEY SAID: Deschamps has told TF1 of facing Messi: “We have already met him, do you remember (at the 2018 World Cup)? We will think about it. Inevitably, there are precautions to be taken to limit his influence. Four years ago, we expected him to be more on the right and he was playing centre-forward. Now, he is a playmaker, he has more freedom, so it will be more difficult to mark him. Unless he is sick, we don’t know, I don’t wish that for him of course.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: France got the better of Messi and Argentina four years ago in Russia when, on their way to claiming the ultimate prize, they edged out their South American opponents 4-3 in a last-16 thriller.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Messi has already stated that Sunday’s World Cup final will be his last outing on the grandest of international stages, with the intention on his part being to ensure that he bows out emulating the efforts of fellow countryman Diego Maradona in 1986.