Messi doesn’t scare us …France’s Hernandez confident ahead of World Cup final

France beat Morocco 2-0 in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final to set up a scintillating showdown with Argentina on Sunday, and Theo Hernandez claims Lionel Messi doesn’t scare the reigning champions.

Hernandez opened the scoring after five minutes against Morocco, before Randal Muani came off the bench to score the second-fastest World Cup knockout goal from a substitute in the second half after 44 seconds, as France earned a fourth World Cup final in the last seven editions of the tournament.

Speaking after the match, Hernandez claimed Messi, arguably the greatest footballer of all time currently enjoying a remarkable tournament at the age of 35, does not frighten France as he seeks his first World Cup trophy.

“Playing two World Cup finals in a row is an incredible moment,” Hernandez told Italian station RAI Sport. “We did a good job, it was hard, but we are in the final.

“We will work hard to win this final. Now we have to think about the final. I’m tired, but it’s nice to win a World Cup semi-final.

“Now let’s recover for Sunday. Messi doesn’t scare us, Argentina are an incredible team but we have a few days to work.”

France are the first side to reach successive finals since Brazil did so over 20 years ago in 2002.

Goals from Antoine Greizmann, Paul Pogba, and KylianMbappe helped France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow in 2018, as Les Bleus claimed their second World Cup title.

Didier Deschamps was in charge four years ago, and will look to become only the second-ever manager to win two World Cup winner’s medals.

“This victory provides emotion and pride,” he said. “Today (Wednesday) was a very important match.

“We’ve been together with the players for a month now, it’s never easy and we’ve also had luck so far, the players have been rewarded as a team and we’ll look for the title Sunday. It’s wonderful.”

Argentina will look to do everything they can to stop France from becoming the first team to retain the World Cup title since Brazil achieved it in 1962.

The final is on December 18. – Eurosport

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