Argentina Versus France
18th December 2022
Time- 20.30 PM onwards
If you have been following the FIFA World Cup 2022, you can safely say that the two most deserving teams of the entire tournament have made it to the Finals.
France have been exceptional as a tactical unit. They have played textbook football whether it is defense or offense. This has been solidly complimented by moments of individual brilliance that you should expect when you have a Kylian Mbappe in your squad.
Argentina, on the other hand, had the worst possible start to the tournament, with an opening match defeat to Saudi Arabia. That loss shook them up in the right way because ever since then, they have been exceptional.
Even though Argentina and France are ranked 3 and 4 in the FIFA rankings, everyone agrees that the two best teams of the tournament will face-off in the finals of the World Cup.
In this Pre-Final Analysis, we are going to break down the performance of both the teams and predict who is going to walk away with the most prized possession in sporting history at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
Albiceleste have regrouped as a team after the Saudi defeat
A wake-up call! That is what Argentina’s defeat against Saudi Arabia was. The good part was that it came early, very early in the tournament. The defeat showed them that even if they had the great Leo Messi in the team, winning football games at the World Cup is a team effort.
The best thing to note in Argentina’s football after the defeat was how the South American nation was able to regroup, identify their weaknesses, and work on them in the next set of matches. The rock-defense, the strategic mid-field play, and the onslaught in front of the goal was right there for everyone to see.
Julian Alvarez, Rodrigo De Paul, Lisandro Martinez, and others have really stepped it up during the latter half of the tournament. With the focus of opposing defenders and coaches on Leo Messi, the opportunity for all these individuals to grow and get their glory on the field was there.
Let’s look at how Argentina have fared in the tournament so far-
- Argentina have scored 12 goals and conceded 5 in the FIFA World Cup 2022.
- They have won 5 out of the 6 games they have played (Saudi Arabia loss).
- Leo Messi is the top scorer with 5 goals for Argentina in the tournament.
- The average first goal timing for Argentina is in the 52nd minute.
- They are more likely to concede a goal in the last 30 minutes of play.
- Argentina have conceded goals against Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Netherlands.
While the defense still looks vulnerable, it is the midfield and centre forwards that are likely to pose the real threat against an equally vulnerable French defense. Alvarez, Messi, Dybala, and others are in top form, and the convincing win against Croatia in the semis would have done their confidence a world of good.
Read more: Qatar Swings To The Beats Of The Selecao Samba
Les Bleus are looking to retain their World Cup Trophy from 2018
Do the French have a chance against Argentina in the final of World Cup on Sunday? You bet they do!
Why? Just look at how Didier Deschamps has shaped the champions of 2018. You have a wonderful number 9 in Olivier Giroud that keeps aging like fine French wine. Already the top scorer for France, Giroud has a spring in his step. It is as though he has found a new gear at 36 years of age.
If handling Giroud was going to be a headache for the Argentinians, throw in one of the world’s hottest young superstars, Kylian ‘Cheetah’ Mbappe. With sprints of 40 km/hr, the Argentinians have their work cut out with Mbappe. If this dynamite of an individual finds himself in space, he is going to sound a death knell deep inside the Argentinian’s goal post.
Like Giroud, another Frenchman has matured into leading the team heads and shoulders over others. Antoine Griezmann is a superstar that has always played his heart out and the match against Morocco showed how important and integral he is to the French set up and attacking style. Griezmann can cut open a defense like a fruit bowl on a good day.
Let’s look at how Deschamps boys have fared in the tournament so far-
- France has scored 13 goals in the World Cup so far and conceded 5.
- Like Argentina, they have won 5 out of the 6 games they have played.
- Their only defeat came against Tunisia where they fielded a second-string team.
- The average time the French have taken their first goal is at the 37th minute mark.
- The French have conceded 4 goals in the 2nd half of the match.
- The French have a better goals per match analytics as compared to Argentina.
Like Argentina, France is weak in their defense. Varane and his colleagues need to step up big time against probably one of the best attacking forwards in the World Cup so far. One ace that the French have is their brilliant goal keeping captain, Hugo Lloris. No stranger to big events, Lloris will marshal his men, especially in front of the goal.
Read more: Karin Benzema: France’s Main Striker, Ballon D’or Winner, Ruled Out Of 2022 Qatar World Cup
Leo Messi: Is this going to be the perfect send off for the GOAT?
Just after the match with Croatia, Messi announced that the Finals would be his last match in an Argentina team jersey.
There is an entire generation that has fallen in love with football thanks to Messi. There is no denying the fact that he is one of the biggest superstars that has graced the football field. If he is able to win the World Cup, he will be counted with Diego Maradona as one of the world’s best. If only that, is he is able to lift the World Cup.
Even if he doesn’t, he has shown that still at his age, he is able to bring defenses kneeling to his foot. The drive on the left flank against Croatia was textbook Messi. Messi is no longer the centre forward. He has been playing a very tactical position that is just behind the striker. This allows him to get a lot more playtime with the ball at his feet.
This is where Argentina is most dangerous. Messi can scout numerous opportunities down both flanks. If he does not have support, he can drive down and draw circles even around the best defenders in the world. It goes without saying that the little master is going to put his heart and soul into the last game for the country.
Read more: Overrated Albicelestes Exposed By 51st Ranked Saudi Arabia In Their World Cup Opener
The Final Act
Football is beautiful. It has umpteenth emotions, strategies, strokes of luck, and moments of brilliance.
The FIFA World Cup Final on 18th December (Sunday) is going to be the most-watched sporting event in the history of the world. The finale promises to be epic given that a living legend of the game will put up his boots.
But the last time he dons the jersey for the Le Albiceleste, he is going to play the 90 minutes of the game with his heart on his boots.
While it would be the perfect swansong for Messi, sports does not always go the way our heart wants it to. The French are a strong team, and if the betting gurus are to be believed, France start stronger with a higher wining percentage.
Lio Messi has the farewell he wished for…
He has the stage that he yearned for…
He has 90 minutes that can gift him immortality…Can he, do it? The heart says yes, but the head says no.