France captain Hugo Lloris says ‘adrenaline’ will help teammates overcome virus

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DOHA, Qatar — France captain Hugo Lloris has said the adrenaline of playing in a World Cup Final will help his teammates overcome the disruption caused by a virus in the camp.

Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konate and Kingsley Coman trained away from the rest of the squad after showing signs of sickness but on Saturday the whole camp was reunited at their final training session ahead of the final.

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Coman, Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot missed Wednesday’s semifinal win over Morocco through illness, although coach Didier Deschamps is hopeful those three players will be available.

France face Argentina at Lusail Stadium on Sunday aiming to become only the third country in history and the first since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the World Cup.

“On the virus, 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,” Lloris said.

“I think 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.

“We are going to try and do our best in spite of the circumstances, 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.”

Speaking on Saturday, Deschamps was unable to provide a fitness update on his squad as he “left early this morning so they were all still asleep” but insisted France were happy to play the role of ‘bad guys’ with many fans wanting Lionel Messi to win his first World Cup at the age of 35.

Asked if he felt “alone” in wanting France to win, Deschamps said: “I often get that feeling but I’m fine being alone, it doesn’t bother me. These uncertainties always arrive.

“Of course we are here and we have done everything we can to be well prepared for tomorrow’s game against Argentina, [their coach] Lionel Scaloni has also had some challenges. They lost their first match against Saudi Arabia but they are still here.

“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.”

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