France national team manager Didier Deschamps is hoping to see his side “limit” the influence of Argentina forward Lionel Messi in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final.
France punched its ticket to the World Cup final after clinching a 2-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday, which came a day after Messi guided Argentina to a 3-0 victory against Croatia in the semifinal round.
Les Bleus will now meet Argentina for the first time since their round of 16 clash in the 2018 World Cup. Deschamps sees that much has changed for Messi from a tactical standpoint since the Argentine last faced France, and overall, the longtime French manager aspires to see Les Bleus slow down the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
“Messi is really shining in this tournament,” Deschamps said in his post-match press conference on Wednesday. “Four years ago, it was different. He played as a center forward against us, and it wasn’t what I expected at the time. He is more of a two-man team now, with real freedom and he touches a lot of the ball. He is very fit physically.
“We will try to limit his influence, just as the Argentinians will try to limit the influence of some of my players. But Argentina is not in the same position as it was four years ago.”
Messi comes into this match having already logged eight goal contributions at the 2022 World Cup.