France coach Deschamps: Messi is Messi, just look at his statistics!

Deschamps will hope his side can limit Messi's influence on Saturday

Cara a cara: Francia - Argentina | Perform


France coach Didier Deschamps praised Argentina star Lionel Messi ahead of this weekend's World Cup last 16 clash between the two countries. 

Deschamps lauded a "different" player but said that he had "no specific plan" to stop him and that the idea is to "limit his influence" on the game. 

"Messi is Messi," the France boss said in a press conference. "You just have to look at his statistics: 65 goals in 127 matches with his national team. 

"Hopefully we are able to neutralise him but we know very well he can make the difference on his own. We don't have a specific plan for him, though. A plan is a big word. The idea is to limit his influence.

"When you play Argentina and Messi on the pitch there are several solutions to limit his impact."

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Deschamps warned: "However, Argentina aren't just Messi. They're an experienced team with players like Javier Mascherano who are used to playing in World Cups. 

"Our side is very young. And I am not saying that as an excuse. It's the reality. Although that doesn't prevent us being competitive and doing things well."  

Also speaking in the pregame press conference was France and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. 

He added: "We've studied the three Argentina group matches which gives us indications and hints, but a player like Messi could step up his own level and decide the fate of the match."



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