The French blue wave will once again surge in the World Cup final early Monday morning where they will face an inspired Lionel Messi and Argentina.
For France, it will be their fourth World Cup final since 1998 and they will be looking to become the first consecutive World Cup winners since Brazil achieved the feat in 1958 and 1962.
The UN in the final was not without its challenges, however, including pre-tournament injuries to Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema and influential midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.
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The style of play adopted by coach Didier Deschamps rarely excites the purists but is devastating in its effectiveness where the individual talent of the French team paralyzes their opponents with a moment of precision.
France headliners including Kylian Mbappe and the timeless Olivier Giroud stole most of the applause for their goalscoring exploits during the tournament.
One player however who has been integral to France’s run to the final is Antoine Griezmann despite being deployed as a playmaker in midfield.
Deschamps always believed that Griezmann had the ability to play in midfield and that vision came to fruition at the start of this World Cup.
“Griezmann has been amazing – I’d say he’s the Silver Ball, for the tournament’s second-best player, because what Messi has done is astounding,” former Australia captain Craig Foster told Wide World of Sports.
“His defensive work, he’s worked incredibly hard – and don’t forget that he and Giroud have to do a lot of work to adapt to Mbappe, who is still sitting high and to the left, ready for that counter-attack.”
Before the World Cup, Griezmann’s club form for Atletico Madrid was far from inspiring, but Deschamps never doubted his ability to deliver for France despite Griezmann’s loss of explosiveness. a top notch striker.
France scores early
Deschamps reiterated Griezmann’s importance to the France team ahead of France’s 2-0 semi-final win over Morocco.
“He’s someone who always thinks about the team first. He works extremely hard, probably harder than most players. He’s been an elite player for 10 years now.
“Of course he went through difficult times like any player, but he is mentally very strong.”
Deschamps’ belief in Griezmann has seen him play 72 consecutive games since 2017 for the France team, and his performances in Qatar have only vindicated that faith.
Griezmann was a resurrected player in which his ability to find space between the lines and create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates saw him become the first Qatar player to create 20 or more chances.
His man-of-the-match performance in the semi-finals against Morocco put him heavily involved on France’s first goal while his ability to turn up the track and help their defense highlighted a player fully immersed in the role. which was assigned to him.
Deschamps will be aware that if France are to lift the World Cup again and deny Messi the dream of ending his international career, they will need their own genius playmaker to be at their best.
Griezmann has shown throughout his career that he has the ability to step up and deliver when his team needs him most, and for all France’s qualities, Griezmann has shown throughout the tournament that he is the key to unlocking opposing defenses and enabling France’s vaunted attack. capitalize.
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