Les Blues faced Morocco on Wednesday in the second semifinal of the World Cup, ending the African nation's golden run with a 2-0 win, and setting up a date with Messi-led Argentina.
France, who are the defending champions, have the chance to win back-to-back titles for the first time. The last team to accomplish this feat was Brazil, who won the 1958 & 1962 World Cups.
Didier Deschamps and his team are fully aware of the threat that Argentina pose, and that the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner is out to win his first showpiece title.
Olivier Giroud, France's leading goal-scorer in World Cup, while speaking to The Athletic, said, "Messi is an incredible player. But we’re not going to let him enjoy the best night that he can have. We want to win this game and the World Cup and we will try everything to stop him. There is not only Messi in that team. They have great players who work for the team also. That’s why they are so strong."
Theo Hernandez, who scored the opening goal for France against Morocco, spoke to RAI, and while lauding his teammates said, "Playing two World Cup finals in a row is an incredible moment. 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."
Messi's abilities on the field have been extensively covered over the years, and despite suffering a few bumps along the way, he seems to have returned to playing his best brand of football.
Knowing full well about the threat that Argentina pose, Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni was quoted as saying, "We will have to defend well and we will have to show all our qualities. Yes, there’s Lionel Messi, but there are also 10 other players next to him who also have a lot of quality, so we’ll have to be ready, well aware of the opportunity we have to make history."
It is clear that Messi is on the minds of the French players, and rightfully so. The Argentine veteran scored his fifth goal of the Qatar tournament against Croatia and could sneak past France's defence if they are not wary.
France and Argentina will face each other in the final on Sunday at the Lusail Stadium.