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Roy Keane picks his favourite ahead of ‘intriguing’ World Cup final

Keane has captured headlines aplenty with his controversial comments as an ITV Sport pundit in Qatar, but he only has words of praise for the star of the tournament so far.

Messi© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Argentina take on France in Sunday’s World Cup final in Qatar, with former Ireland captain Roy Keane pinning his colours firmly to the mast ahead of the biggest match of 2022.

Keane has captured headlines aplenty with his controversial comments as an ITV Sport pundit in Qatar, but he only has words of praise for the star of the tournament so far.

Lionel Messi's efforts to crown his remarkable career with a World Cup win has been a theme running through the tournament and Keane admits he wants the Argentina great to prevail in the Final against France.

“It’s intriguing, it’s a great final and one to really look forward to,” Keane told ITV Football.

“You look at France against Morocco and England and you think they’re not great, but they get the job done. They’ve conceded one goal in those two games and that was a penalty.

“But Argentina, with all the support behind them, the energy of the team and of course Lionel Messi, you would have to say they are slight favourites.

“We saw glimpses of peak Messi (in the semi-final against Croatia) He’s done it for years and years. The guy is fantastic and I love watching him.

“You know what, I hope they win it, even if it’s just for him.”

Keane went on to suggest defending champions France have a weakness in their defensive set-up that could be exploited by Argentina.

“I think Argentina will be encouraged by how many chances Morocco got and how easy it was to get through the France midfield,” added the Irishman.

“But look, Sunday is a different game. The intensity will be different. France are the World champions so they will be confident and they’re attacking players can certainly hurt Argentina.

“There will be respect there but both teams will fancy their chances. That’s why it’s set up for a brilliant game.”

Messi will break the record for the most World Cup appearances when he leads Argentina out against France in Sunday’s final.

Barring injury, Messi will beat Germany great Lothar Matthaus’ record with his 26th appearance at the finals since his debut 16 years ago.


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