France will need everything that they have got to take down Lionel Messi and Argentina in the World Cup final. Unfortunately however, they might not exactly have everything to give.
ESPN’s Julien Laurens reports Friday that two French starters, centre-backs Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate, are in danger of missing Sunday’s World Cup final after coming down with a virus. Varane is said to have “small” symptoms while Konate remains in his room feeling “unwell.”
The illnesses may be part of a bigger virus spread within the French team. Two other players for France, defender Dayot Upacameno and midfielder Adrien Rabiot, had to miss Wednesday’s semifinal match against Morocco (which France won 2-0) thanks to illness. Additionally, three more players (Aurelien Tchouameni, Theo Hernandez, and Kingsley Coman) missed a training session on Friday along with Varane and Konate.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 16, 2022
“In Doha, [the] temperatures have fallen a little bit, [and] you have air conditioning which is on all the time,” France manager Didier Deschamps said after the semifinal win, per ESPN. “We’ve had a few cases of flu-like symptoms. We’re trying to be careful it doesn’t spread. Players have made great efforts out on the pitch, and obviously their immune systems suffer.”
Laurens does add that Rabiot and Upacameno are now recovered and could play on Sunday. While no update has been given on the respective statuses of Tchouameni, Hernandez, and Coman for the World Cup final, the report that Varane and Konate might miss the contest is very concerning.
The 6-foot-3 Varane and the 6-foot-4 Konate are the backbone of France’s defense and would be tasked with slowing down Messi, Julian Alvarez, and the rest of the Argentina attack. One of the two has started in every single match for France at the World Cup (with Upacameno occasionally filling in).
France, who are seeking to become the first repeat World Cup champions since Brazil in 1962, have also been felled by a number of absences to other key players. That includes midfielders like Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante and forwards like Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku (none of whom are with the team right now). If there is a silver lining for France, another team at the World Cup dealt with a similar virus issue and won their next match.
The post 1 big concern emerging for France ahead of World Cup final against Argentina appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.
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