‘Messi doesn’t scare us!’ – France stars

France’s core group of stars have insisted that they are up to the challenge of facing Lionel Messi in a 2022 World Cup final date with Argentina.

Les Bleus, who are defending champions, are set to face the Albiceleste in a showpiece event on Sunday that will see a global crown put on the line. France are fully aware that seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi poses a serious threat to their ambition, but Didier Deschamps’ squad are confident that they can keep an all-time great quiet and dash his dreams of claiming an elusive prize in what will be his last outing at FIFA’s flagship event.

France full-back Hernandez has told RAI Sport: “Playing two World Cup finals in a row is an incredible moment. We will work hard to win this final. Now we have to think about the final. I’m tired, but it’s nice to win a World Cup semi-final. Now let’s recover for Sunday. Messi doesn’t scare us, Argentina are an incredible team but we have a few days to work.”

Veteran frontman Olivier Giroud, who is now his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, has added to The Athletic: “Messi is an incredible player. But we’re not going to let him enjoy the best night that he can have. We want to win this game and the World Cup and we will try everything to stop him. There is not only Messi in that team. They have great players who work for the team also. That’s why they are so strong.”