World Cup 2022: Messi a ‘different proposition’ says Griezmann

Argentina produced a dominant display against a Croatian side who had knocked Brazil out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Greizmann has assured fans that France ‘will be prepared’ as they face an in-form Messi and a well-supported Argentina.

French playmaker Antoine Griezmann has admitted that facing seven times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi will present “a totally different proposition” after France overcame a strong Morocco side on Wednesday to reach their second World Cup final in a row.

“We’ve seen practically all of the matches at this World Cup, we’ve seen Argentina play, we know how they play, they are a difficult team to play and a team who are on top form,” the 31-year-old Atlético Madrid star said in a post-match press conference.

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Argentina produced a dominant display against a Croatian side who had knocked Brazil out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Griezmann was the man of the match against Morocco, and his performances at the World Cup have earned him plenty of plaudits. Injuries to Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante before the tournament meant Griezmann, who usually plays as a forward, was forced to drop into midfield – something he has done with aplomb – racking up three vital assists in the knockout stages.

After the semifinal win, however, Griezmann urged his team to not become complacent. La Albiceleste, as Argentina are known, produced a fine team performance on Tuesday as they brushed aside Croatia 3-0 in the semifinal. “They seem to be on top form, there isn’t only Messi – they have a strong side around him,” said Griezmann.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has scored five goals and registered three assists this World Cup [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Messi is the leading goalscorer this tournament along with France’s Kylian Mbappe with five goals. His side recovered from a first-round defeat to Saudi Arabia to top their group and then beat Australia, the Netherlands and Croatia in the knockout games.

Throughout the tournament, Argentina have enjoyed significant support in the stands, with many fans making the more than 13,000km (8,080 miles) journey from Argentina to Qatar to urge their side on.

“We know it is going to be a tough game, and they are going to have the support of the crowd,” said Griezmann.

Argentina fans cheered on their team throughout the semifinal clash with Croatia [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Griezmann assured French fans that they understand the threat of an Argentina side who have grown in confidence as the tournament has progressed and “will be well prepared”.

The two teams played each other at the 2018 World Cup in a thrilling 4-3 win for France.

Recently, the 35-year-old Messi confirmed this would be his last appearance at the World Cup.



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