Didier Deschamps’ pragmatists will be set on stifling Lionel Messi’s magic as they aim to complete a hat-trick of World Cups
If France are the new West Germany – unflinching under pressure, unconcerned with claiming neutral hearts – then perhaps time has spun back to 1986. If so then it is good news for Argentina. It has been 36 years since the South Americans edged past the West Germans in a thrilling final and, by the time this most unsettling of World Cups comes to an end at the Lusail Stadium, most football romantics will hope that Lionel Messi has finally claimed his place alongside Diego Maradona in Argentinian folklore.
Destiny awaits. Messi in 2022 has been the equivalent of Maradona at Mexico 86, making an ordinary team believe they are capable of winning the greatest prize of all. This is surely his time. Unless, of course, France overcome the virus sweeping through their camp and pull off their latest heist. “I know that Argentinian people, many people around the world, maybe even some French people hope Messi will win the World Cup,” Didier Deschamps acknowledged. “But we will do everything to achieve our objective.”
Written by Jacob Steinberg in Doha
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/dec/17/frances-survivors-daring-for-greatest-heist-yet-against-messi-and-argentina under the title “France’s survivors daring for greatest heist yet against Messi and Argentina”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.