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Hugo Lloris says France should be fighting fit for World Cup final despite camp virus

France coach Didier Deschamps. REUTERS/Gareth Bumstead© REUTERS

Mark Mann-BryansPA Media

France captain Hugo Lloris believes the "adrenaline and excitement" of a World Cup final with Argentina will ensure all his team-mates are fit to play, despite illness affecting several members of the squad.

On the eve of the showpiece event in Qatar, Les Bleus have a number of players suffering with illness as they aim to retain their status as world champions.

Defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate did not train on Friday with the pair reportedly the latest to be struck down after Adrien Rabiot, Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman felt unwell for Wednesday evening's 2-0 semi-final win over Morocco.

Rabiot watched the game from the team hotel while Upamecano and Coman were unused substitutes as head coach Didier Deschamps revealed after the game his plans to isolate anyone showing signs of illness away from the rest of his squad.

Neither Lloris nor Deschamps would be drawn on offering any updates on the status of the squad when they addressed the media on Saturday morning.

But Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris insisted the magnitude of the occasion should see everyone raring to go against Lionel Messi-led Argentina.

"We are going to try and do our best in spite of the circumstances," he said.

"I think thanks to the adrenaline and the excitement we will feel we will all be fit enough and ready to do whatever we can to win this last battle.

"In the past we have proved that French teams who have been successful have always based that success on a strong team spirit.

"So we try to draw from that, there is a very good feeling in the camp since the beginning of the tournament and there is no reason why that shouldn't be the same again tomorrow.

"You're never really prepared for that type of thing but we are trying to get ready for this match the best we can, these are things for which we weren't necessarily prepared but we remain focused and of course we are very excited to play in a World Cup final."

One player who definitely won’t be taking the field is Ballon d'Or holder Karim Benzema, after Deschamps poured cold water on the suggestion that that the Real Madrid man could return to the squad having resumed training with his club.

“Some players have been injured and Karim Benzema is one of them and Lucas Hernandez got injured in the first game,” the France boss explained.

“From that point on, I have 24 players in my squad and they are the ones at my disposal, so I don’t think it is fair to those players to ask about players who aren’t here.

“It is not up to me to decide who comes to watch the game, former players or injured players, I focus on my squad and the players at my disposal. We have lost three Christopher Nkunku, Karim Benzema and Lucas Hernandez and I lost them even though they were in the squad to begin with. So now I am focusing on my 24-man squad and they are the ones I will have at my disposal tomorrow.”

France can make history at Lusail Stadium on Sunday, where victory would see them become the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to retain the trophy.

Deschamps, however, admits the romance of Messi leading Argentina to glory at his final World Cup means he and his players have to accept the role of outsiders.

"I often get that feeling but I'm fine being alone, it doesn't bother me," said the 54-year-old, who led France to victory in Russia four years ago and captained the team in 1998.

"These uncertainties always arrive. We are here and we have done everything we can to be well prepared for tomorrow's game against Argentina.

"In a World Cup final especially, if you have the match and a whole context behind that, the objective is to come out with the title.

"I know that Argentina and many people around the world, even some French people as well, hope that Lionel Messi will win the World Cup - but we are going to do everything to achieve our objective.

"Only one team will come out with a third star on their shirt after tomorrow's game."


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