“We Will Try To Counter Him”: France Manager On Lionel Messi


France coach Didier Deschamps said Argentina captain Lionel Messi is in great form.© AFP

France coach Didier Deschamps admitted he was “extremely proud” after Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Morocco to take the holders to another World Cup final where he said his side would try to find a way to cope. Lionel Messi “In brilliant form” for Argentina. France are looking to become the first team in 60 years to win back-to-back World Cup titles since Brazil won the double in 1958 and 1962.

“I’m very proud. It’s great to reach the final but it wasn’t an easy win,” said Deschamps after Theo Hernandez’s early goal and substitute Randall Kolo Muani’s late finish saw the first match at Al Bayet Stadium. No African or Arab team has reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.

“We needed a mix of quality, experience and team spirit and we had to dig deep in difficult times but I’m really pleased and proud of my players.”

The defending champions must prepare to face an Argentina side who were inspired by Messi en route to the final and who will be looking to avenge a 4-3 loss when the teams met in the last 16 four years ago.

“Messi has been in great form since the start of the tournament,” admitted Deschamps.

“Four years ago things were different. He played as a center forward, whereas now he plays behind the front two or just the striker.

“He looks in great form and of course he is one of the best players in the world so we will try to counter the threat of Messi as much as possible, just as Argentina will try to stop the influence of some of my players.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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