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    HomeSportsDidier Deschamps discusses France's tactical battle with Lionel Messi

    Didier Deschamps discusses France’s tactical battle with Lionel Messi

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    France manager Didier Deschamps has opened up on how France will approach dealing with Lionel Messi in the World Cup final.

    Les Bleus meet La Albiceleste on Sunday in the 2022 showpiece, in search of back-to-back World Cup crowns. The two sides previously met in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup, with France narrowly prevailing in a thrilling 4-3 victory.

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    Messi didn’t score that day, but Deschamps drew on the game when discussing France’s plans to deal with him this time when speaking to Adil Rami for TF1: “We have already met him, do you remember?

    “We will think about [the plan to nullify Messi]. Inevitably, there are precautions to be taken to limit his influence.”

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    He added: “Four years ago, we expected him to be more on the right and he was playing centre-forward. There, 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,” he joked: “I don’t wish him [to be ill] of course.”

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    Messi has come up with a catalogue of tournament-defining moments so far in Qatar to help his country to the final in what is likely his last ever World Cup. He heads into the final joint-top of the scoring and assisting charts and put in another memorable display in the semi-final as Argentina breezed past Croatia, bagging another goal and assist in the process.

    Deschamps, meanwhile, is currently having to work with a virus outbreak tearing through his squad. As many as five players have been taken ill ahead of the final.

    Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Quentin Gesp and Jack Gallagher to look back on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia – join us!

    If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!

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