Former France international Gael Clichy reckons France ‘can’t stop’ Lionel Messi when they face Argentina in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sunday (December 18).
The two nations are set to lock horns at the Lusail Stadium, with Les Bleus looking to defend their crown, while the Albiceleste are aiming for their first triumph in 36 years.
More importantly, though, Argentina are looking to give Messi, who confirmed that the final will be his last FIFA World Cup game, a memorable send-off by helping him get his hands on the trophy.
Lionel Messi: “On Sunday, I will play my last World Cup match.”
France will obviously be aware of Messi’s threat, and manager Didier Deschamps will look to come up with a plan to neutralise the PSG ace as he did four years ago in Russia in their Round of 16 win.
However, Clichy feels no plan is good enough to stop Messi. Speaking to talkSPORT, he said:
“I think there’s no plan against Messi! You can’t plan anything because if he’s on it – and he’s been on it since the beginning of the competition – you really can’t stop him.”
With five goals and three assists, Messi has made a case for being the best player in the tournament while playing a key role in guiding Argentina to the title match.
He has scored a goal in every knockout game, with his penalty in the semifinal against Croatia also taking him past Gabriel Batistuta’s record of ten FIFA World Cup goals for Argentina.
More than the records, though, it’s the FIFA World Cup trophy Messi is chasing, having lost in the finalin 2014. On Sunday, Messi has one final shot at redemption and complete his collection of all major trophies across club and international football.
Argentina looking to end France’s reign in FIFA World Cup
Reigning champions France are just one game away from sealing back-to-back FIFA World Cup titles, an achievement not recorded by any team in 60 years since Brazil (1958, 1962).
Apart from their shock 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the group stage, where Didier Deschamps played a second-string team after having qualified for the knockouts, Les Bleus have been absolutely rampant.
LIONEL MESSI VS. KYLIAN MBAPPE IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL
Argentina vs. France is going to be fireworks 🍿
Led by the prolific attacking duo of Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud, France will give Argentina a serious run for their money, but the Copa America champions have looked good themselves after their 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.
Messi will obviously be the single biggest Argentine threat, but he has been ably complemented in attack by Julian Alvarez, who has four goals in the tournament.
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