Deschamps: France feels alone against the world

Didier Deschamps: France feels alone against the world

France coach Didier Deschamps understands that a majority of non-Argentine fans will lean in favor of Albiceleste in the World Cup final so that Lionel Messi has the perfect goodbye in soccer’s biggest event.

In fact, Deschamps senses that some in France will be hoping that this is the outcome as well.

“I’m fine being alone in the world, it doesn’t bother me,” Deschamps said, cracking a smile on Saturday on the eve of the title match.

In this World Cup, the prevailing feeling is that Deschamps and the French team have had to row against the current at all times.

The World Cup started with a succession of injuries in France, with Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku and Presnel Kimpembe adding to a list of casualties that already included Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté.

And they complete it with the squad diminished by a virus that caused defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot to miss the victory against Morocco in the semifinals. Three other players — center backs Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konaté and winger Kingsley Coman — were unable to train on Friday, two days before the final.

Deschamps accepts the circumstances willingly.

“We try to get by as best we can,” he said. “We try to deal with the situation without complicating ourselves.”

That mantra can describe France’s march to the final.

Both in the quarterfinals against England and in the semifinals against Morocco, Les Bleus stomped hard in the early stages to take the lead on the scoreboard. Then they settled for retreating and playing on the counterattack — a tactic that took effect four years ago when they won their second title.

Can they repeat it against an Argentina that has Messi at an exceptional moment?

“There are things that always happen in a game that you’re not ready for,” said French captain Hugo Lloris, who is bidding to become the first captain of a men’s team to win two world titles. “That’s when you have to show harmony of the collective and that everyone has to leave it to get ahead in difficult moments ”.

“We are a good team because we know how to adapt to different scenarios,” he added.

What France has in mind is that Messi is the linchpin of an Argentina determined to give his star the only great title that has resisted him in his career.

Lloris, however, warned that it is dangerous for the team to focus only on Messi.

“I think this event is too important to focus on just one player,” said the goalkeeper. “It is a final between two great soccer nations. Obviously, when you face a player like him (by Messi) you need to make a special focus, but it’s not just him”.

“Argentina is a strong team and there are many other players, a young generation that is coming, and you can feel that they are all dedicated to Leo Messi,” he added.

Deschamps would not reveal whether a player affected by the virus will miss the final, explaining that he would receive new information later on Saturday during training. Upamecano and Rabiot returned to practice on Friday.

Someone who is definitely ruled out for Sunday is Benzema, who suffered a left thigh tear the day before the start of the World Cup.

Benzema, winner of the last Ballon d’Or, returned to training with Real Madrid despite the fact that he is still registered on the French payroll.

Deschamps does not want to talk more about the attacker.

“(Benzema) was injured at the start of the World Cup and (left-back) Lucas Hernández was injured in the first game,” Deschamps said. “Since then, I have 24 players to manage.”

“Raising the question about these players is kind of awkward,” he added.

Benzema posted a photo of himself on Instagram on Friday night and a brief phrase: “I’m not interested.” Could not immediately establish message context.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.