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July 17, 2024

Argentina v France – Messi aiming to lift the World Cup for the first time

3 min read
Sunday's World Cup final will mark the 13th meeting between Argentina and France in all competitions, with the South American champions picking up 6 wins so far compared to just 3 for their European

Argentina v France – Messi aiming to lift the World Cup for the first time

Sunday – The 2022 Qatar World cup will come to an end on Sunday evening at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, as Argentina take on the reigning champions France who are striving for international supremacy in a mouthwatering final.

France head into the final as the first holders in 24 years to reach in the final, after a 2-0 win over North-African giants Morocco in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Argentina denied Croatia a second successive appearance in the final with a 3-0 victory in the first semi-final, with Messi stealing the headlines. The record (7) Ballon d’Or winner has won everything in football there is apart from the World Cup.

Messi has been efficient at the World Cup, especially after the historical 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their first group match at the tournament. Only Spain in 2010 have also managed to propel themselves to World Cup glory after losing their opening match of the tournament. However, the PSG attacker will need more than just his heroics to overcome the Les Bleus.

Nicolas Otamendi has rolled back the years in defence, Enzo Fernandez could become the next nine-figure footballer, Emiliano Martinez has become the second savior to the La Albiceleste, and Julian Alvarez has clearly taken a few leaves out of his strike partner’s book.

A sixth World Cup final is now on the cards for the 1978 and 1986 champions. A loss to France means The South Americans will now equal Germany’s unwanted record of losing a joint-high four World Cup finals.

As for France, the European side came into the World Cup at the back of several controversies; A number of injuries to key players, no Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema, perpetual controversy off the field and an almost unthinkable relegation from the Nations League, made analysts rule them out of the tournament’s favorites list.

Argentina World Cup form:
L W W W W W

France World Cup form:
W W L W W W

Team News
Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel are at Scaloni’s disposal once again after the pair were forced to watch the semi-final from the suspension step after picking up their second bookings of the tournament against the Netherlands.

La Albiceleste should only be working with one injury doubt in the form of Alejandro Gomez, who is not fully over an ankle sprain and may only make the bench at best, and hearts were in mouths when Messi was pictured giving his hamstring a once-over in the semi-finals, although it is unlikely that he won’t feature against France.

Over in the France camp, a couple of injury victims have been noted in Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot, while Kingsley Coman was also feeling under the weather before the semi-finals and has now reportedly been joined in the sick bay by Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate. All five players are said to have reported back for training over the weekend, but Les Bleus doctors will still need to give a last-minute green light.

Rabiot and Upamecano are understood to be feeling better and should apply for places in the first XI.

Konate deservedly earned high praise for his performance against Morocco but is reported to be feeling worse than Varane, so Deschamps will still be expected to bring Upamecano back into his tried-and-tested formula, while Coman was never likely to push for a starting role anyway.

Head To Head
Sunday’s World Cup final will mark the 13th meeting between Argentina and France in all competitions, with the South American champions picking up 6 wins so far compared to just 3 for their European counterparts, while another 3 have ended all square.

There have only been three occasions where Argentina and France have both scored in this this fixture.

However, the most recent showdown between the two sides ended in a thrilling 4-3 Bleus win during the 2018 World Cup last 16, with that Benjamin Pavard thunderbolt still lingering in the memory of football fans.

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