When asked if Karim Benzema may return for Sunday’s World Cup 2022 final against Argentina, France manager Didier Deschamps declined to provide a firm response.
After defeating African history-makers Morocco 2-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday night, Les Bleus became the first World Cup champions since Brazil in 1998 to advance to back-to-back WC finals.
Five minutes into the game, Theo Hernandez’s acrobatic attempt gave France the lead. Randal Kolo Muani, who entered the game 44 seconds later and scored the third-fastest World Cup replacement goal in history, sealed the victory.
Without the assistance of Ballon d’Or Benzema, who was included for Deschamps’ team but was forced to withdraw due to a recent thigh injury, Les Bleus have advanced to the championship match.
The 34-year-old has returned to full training with Real Madrid this week after Deschamps decided not to call up a replacement for him. As a result, he is still eligible for selection for Sunday’s championship match.
After Benzema’s comeback, there have been rumours that Deschamps would recall him for the match against Argentina. In his post-match press conference on Wednesday, he was questioned about the prospect of doing so.
Deschamps comments about the inclusion of Benzema in the Final
However, after letting out a sigh, the France manager responded:
“I don’t really want to answer that question. Next question. I do apologise.”
In the first half, Azzedine Ounahi and Jawad El Yamiq both put France’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris under pressure as they tried to stave off a wave of Moroccan raids in front of a sea of Atlas Lions supporters.
During the first half of the second half, Deschamps’ team found it difficult to exit their own half, but France remained firm when Kolo Muani scored at the back post after Kylian Mbappe’s shot was stopped.
As they attempt to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1962—the only other team to accomplish it was Italy in 1938—Deschamps urged his players to “savour the occasion.”
“It’s never easy but it’s been such a joy. We’re going to go after the title on Sunday. We’re going to enjoy the time,”
the 56-year-old added.
“I tell this to my staff and players. Take every moment in the day to really appreciate and savour the moment. In four days we are going to play for a world title. We’ll enjoy it now and get ready for the last match of this World Cup.”
Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, will lead Argentina in their final World Cup encounter, and Deschamps, the head coach of the French national team, has promised that his team will do everything possible to guarantee that Messi’s night ends in defeat.
“We will do everything humanly possible for that not to happen. At the end of the match, someone is getting a third star on their shirt,”
Losing semifinalists Morocco and Croatia, who were defeated 3-0 by Argentina, will square off on Saturday for third place in the standings before the championship game on Sunday.
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