Doha (Qatar), Dec 17 (IANS) France coach Didier Deschamps said his team is ready for ‘any scenario’ while trying to deal with emotions ahead of the FIFA World Cup final clash with Argentina on Sunday.
“Our experience will help us. We have been observing and analysing Argentina’s games and we’ve had some precise information but of course they could line up differently tomorrow. There is nothing to stop them doing that. We could too. The same goes for us.
“Look at Morocco for example, they started the semi-final with a five-man defence, which they hadn’t done before in the tournament. You need to be ready for any scenario.”
Deschamps, who guided the team to the 2018 title and won the World Cup with France as a player in 1998, refused to be drawn into a comparison between the Argentina team which the Les Blues beat in the knockout stage of the tournament in Russia.
“I think seven players were present in 2018 in their squad. It is not the same team at all so there is no point comparing. It was a round of 16 match and the players were totally different. The teams, style and game plan was different,” said the 54-year-old.
Deschamps said his team is trying to deal with emotions especially with regards to players playing their first final
“I have just said that for a final you always need to prepare slightly differently because you have certain emotions that can affect certain players differently. I would have said that 2016 wasn’t perfect, you could tell that from the results. 2018 was much better and the players who were there did a tremendous job.”
Asked on whether his approach needs to change, and whether he could introduce young players into the final, he said: “When it is the first final for a player they don’t know what to expect. When you’ve had the opportunity and privilege of playing a number of finals, of course that helps.
“Playing in your first final doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t deal with those emotions well. Of course it is all about dealing with your emotions and in my team talk and discussions with players I always bear in mind that every player is different.”
Asked whether he was feeling alone in the world – with injuries, virus and the people wanting Lionel Messi to win the title, Deschamps said that does not worry him.
“I often get that feeling, but I am fine being alone. That doesn’t bother me. These uncertainties always arise. We are here and we’ve done everything we can to be well prepared for the game.
“Lionel Scaloni has had also some challenges. They lost their first match against Saudi Arabia of course, but they are still here.
“I don’t have any particular worries or stress about the game. When you prepare for a game like this you need to keep your focus, remain composed, but, of course, in a World Cup final especially you have the match and the whole context behind that. Of course the objective is to come out with the title.
“I know Argentina and many people around the world, and maybe some French people as well, would hope that Lionel Messi could win the World Cup, but we’re going to do everything to achieve our objective.”
Deschamps said it was too early to determine who will be fit to play in France’s final in which they will be bidding for a third title with the master tactician saying the team will be announced on Sunday.
Deschamps also said Kylian Mbappe is extremely focused ahead of the title clash.
“Well, he has spoken to the media. On certain occasions he has. He also needs to remain calm and focused on what he can bring to the team on the pitch. His mindset is very positive. Before the World Cup that was true and since our time began here he has been extremely focused and I have no interest in trying to bother him or trying to upset that focus. He is focused on the match,” said Deschamps, on the super striker not speaking to the media very often.
France ready for ‘any scenario’ and trying to deal with emotions ahead of final: Deschamps