Olivier Giroud, forward for France and AC Milan, has stated that his team will do everything possible to prevent Argentina’s Lionel Messi from fulfilling his World Cup dream.
Messi will cap off his fairytale international career on Sunday when his team faces the reigning champions in the 2022 World Cup showpiece final at Doha’s Lusail Stadium.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward finished runner-up in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and was devastated after their 1-0 loss to Germany in Rio.
After revealing that this will be his final World Cup, the footballing legend is now eager to win the trophy that has eluded him.
However, French striker Olivier Giroud has warned the Argentine forward that his team has no intention of relinquishing their title, saying, “we will try everything to stop him.”
“Messi is an incredible player, but we are not going to let him have the best night he can have,” the former Chelsea and Arsenal striker said.
“We intend to win this game. We want to win another World Cup, and we will do everything in our power to stop him.
“However, Messi is not the only player on that team. They have excellent players who contribute to the team. “I believe that is why they are so powerful,” he explained.
Giroud, who became France’s all-time leading goal scorer during the tournament, was part of the team that defeated Argentina 4-3 in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, knocking Messi out in the last 16 stage before claiming the trophy.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante man-marked Messi during that match, but with him out of the Qatar World Cup due to injury, Giroud has hinted his side could do the same again in Sunday’s final.
“I’m not sure if we require a special plan. I remember back in 2018, N’Golo had the entire game on his back, behind him. But I’m not sure what the plan will be this time. We’ll consult with the manager.”
Theo Hernandez, a France full-back, echoed Giroud’s sentiments and insisted that their team [France] does not fear Messi, who is desperate to win a World Cup trophy.
In Wednesday night’s semi-final victory over Morocco, the AC Milan left-back broke the deadlock.
“Lionel Messi does not scare us, and we will do everything we can to stop him.
“I am tired but it’s so good to win a World Cup semi-final,” Hernandez told Gazzetta dello Sport. Now we must recover for Sunday. We are not scared of Messi, but Argentina are an incredible team and we have a few days to work,” he said