Face Argentina, France will seal off Lionel Messi Movement

France coach Didier Deschamps hopes his side can seal off the movement of Argentina captain Lionel Messi when both teams meet in the Round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday (30/06/2018).

France qualified for the Round of 16 as Group C winners, while Argentina qualified as runner-up of Group D.

Lionel Messi plays an important role in Argentina national team thanks to one goal in the last match against Nigeria in Group D.

France coach Didier Deschamps says Lionel Messi remains the world’s best player despite scoring just one goal from three matches at the 2018 World Cup. Deschamps is aware that Messi’s presence will potentially threaten France’s goalpost later on.

Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi, statistic of 65 goals from 127 matches explained that. “Hopefully France can neutralize him because he can make difference with little effort,” Messi said.

Deschamps said that the conditions of the more inexperienced French team than Argentina should not be the reason they are not confident.

“Yes, France does have a lot of players who are still new, but that’s no excuse, we will exert all our efforts to play well,” Deschamps added.

In the French squad this saturday, there are three players who memorize the style of Messi’s play for playing in the Spanish League. They are Lucas Hernandez, Samuel Umtiti, and Raphael Varane. Deschamps rate it not an advantage.

“I’d love to say it’s an advantage, but I do not think so,” Deschamps said.

“If you play against Messi in the league, maybe you understand the conditions of the game, but with his talent, Messi can make a big difference. He is unpredictable,” said the captain of the French team when the World Cup champion in 1998.

Both Argentina and France are certain to come down with their best squad because no players are injured.

Here are facts of France vs Argentina match:

  1. In the last 32 years, Argentina and France twice met in a friendly match. Argentina won twice in 2007 (1-0) and 2009 (2-0).
  2. France have never lost against South American teams at the World Cup in the last eight games.
  3. Since the first round of 16 was first introduced in 1986, France always won in the first round of 16 in 1986, 1998, 2006, and 2014.
  4. Three of four Argentina’s matches in the knock-out phase of the 2014 World Cup went into extra-time stages.
  5. This is the first game in the 2018 World Cup that brings together two world champions. Argentina champions in 1986 and 1978 while France in 1998.

Coach comments:

Didier Deschamps (France): “All Argentina players are dangerous, I see Argentina in two ways, first is Lionel Messi’s efficiency and temperament of the entire squad, but that will not affect my strategy.”

Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina): “Lionel Messi needs support from all other players. Messi is a player who struggles, weeps and laughs only for Argentina. Many people say Messi does not like playing for Argentina, that’s not true.”

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