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It’s Messi v Mbappe in the World Cup final as Damien Duff claim goes viral

Didier Deschamps saw his France side “dig deep” to beat Morocco and set up a World Cup final against Argentina

Kylian Mbappe has led France to the brink of a second successive World Cup.© Getty Images

Sports deskSunday World

Kylian Mbappe will take on his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi in Sunday’s World Cup final after France beat Morocco to set up a date with Argentina.

Didier Deschamps saw his France side “dig deep” to beat Morocco and set up a World Cup final against Argentina before revealing a number of ill players have had to be isolated from the rest of his squad ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster clash.

Messi and Argentina may be waiting at Lusail Stadium on Sunday night but Les Bleus – who could become the first nation since the revered Brazil side of 1962 to retain their status as champions of the world – were pushed all the way before sealing a hard-fought 2-0 win.

Theo Hernandez struck early on but Morocco, the first African semi-finalists in history, more than matched their illustrious opponents before substitute Randal Kolo Muani’s first France goal settled matters in the closing stages.

While attention now turns to Sunday’s showpiece final, Deschamps will be keen for a clean bill of health after Adrien Rabiot was left at the team hotel instead of travelling to Al Bayt Stadium – while Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman have also been struggling with illness.

“We’ve had a few cases of flu-like symptoms,” said Deschamps.

“In Doha, temperatures have fallen a little bit, you have air conditioning which is on all the time. We are trying to be careful so it doesn’t spread and players have made great efforts out on the pitch and obviously their immune systems suffer.

“Dayot Upamecano felt sick immediately after the (England) match – it happens when you make such an effort, your body is weakened and you are more prone to be infected by these viruses.

“We are taking all necessary precautions, we are trying to make sure it doesn’t spread but viruses are of course infectious and we have to take precautions against it. We separated him from others and Adrien as well.

“Kingsley Coman was also feverish this afternoon. Adrien was sick, he was a little bit better this afternoon but he just wasn’t well enough so he stayed in the hotel, we have a four-day rest so he should be better and available for Sunday.”

Meanwhile, comments from former Ireland winger Damien Duff have gone viral on Twitter as he was asked to compared Messi and Mbappe.

When asked by RTE presenter Joanne Cantwell whether Mbappe was a match for Messi, the former Chelsea winger had an instant response.

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"The best version of Messi, when he was 23, 24, 25, maybe - Mbappe doesn't lace his boots,” he declared.

"The best version of Messi, Mbappe doesn't touch Messi. That's how good Messi was. That is what I am saying."

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