Europe 1 with AFP 3:27 p.m., December 18, 2022
With the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina looming, tension is mounting on both sides.
The many Argentinian supporters began to invest the brand new enclosure of nearly 90,000 places.
All eyes are on the Messi-Mbappé duel.
Will the French striker take over from the legend?
The tension is rising this Sunday at the Lusail stadium, the terminus of an atypical and decried 2022 World Cup in Qatar, before the imminent final (4:00 p.m.) between Argentina of the star Lionel Messi and France of the comet Kylian Mbappé , each stretching towards the dream of a third star.
The numerous and noisy Argentinian supporters, dressed in the mythical white jersey with sky blue stripes, began to invest the brand new enclosure of nearly 90,000 seats, symbol of the excess of the gas emirate, with many songs and whistles, already, when Mbappé's face appeared on giant screens.
The duel with Messi caught the attention of the Argentine daily Clarin: it is "the other final" between "the star who is already a legend against crack who absolutely wants to inherit his throne".
With his brilliant dribbler, Argentina can "end 36 years of frustration" in the World Cup, writes La Nacion.
Kylian Mbappé's obsession
In Doha, two ambitions will collide in Lusail for a final in apotheosis which will provide intoxication on one side, distress on the other, a great classic of sports storytelling.
The World Cup guestbook features the faces of the winners, from Mario Kempes (1978) to Hugo Lloris (2018) via Diego Maradona (1986) and Zinédine Zidane (1998), historic figures of Albiceleste and bruises.
"Playing in a World Cup final is a childhood dream. Let's get that third star!" Zidane wrote on Instagram.
"It's time ... all together," also encouraged Karim Benzema, injured just before the World Cup.
Four years after Moscow, France can win a second title in a row, an unprecedented performance since the Brazil of Pelé, Vava and Garrincha in 1962. Its hopes rest partly on Mbappé, soon to be 24, who made the World his "obsession".
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"Be prepared to suffer"
The Blues arrived in Qatar in a haze of disappointing results, plagued by tactical doubts and overwhelmed by a torrent of injuries.
But they turned into a cold monster who overcame the obstacles one after the other with resilience, solidarity, and the experience of survivors from Russia (Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Raphaël Varane...).
"What we have achieved is very strong, but it's the most difficult last match," said captain Hugo Lloris, aware that you have to "be ready to suffer, to make the effort, to excel despite fatigue".
The Tottenham goalkeeper faces an ogre of world football.
At the twilight of his career, Messi (35) dreams of treating himself to the only trophy he lacks to finally become "King Leo", 36 years after the title of "Dios" Maradona.
The genius with seven Ballons d'Or is accompanied by an army at his service: his lieutenants Rodrigo De Paul and Alexis Mac Allister in the middle, the "soldier" Nicolas Otamendi and his partner Cristian Romero in defense, the robust goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and the surprise offensive Julian Alvarez.
He will also be driven by the fantastic momentum of tens of thousands of supporters, unbearable in Doha for more than a month.
These noisy and overheated "hinchas" "give us the feeling of playing in Argentina", assures "Dibu" Martinez.
"We have the best public in the world, they hope that we bring them happiness and that touches us", supports coach Lionel Scaloni.
"Our opponents will be on the field, not in the stands", replies Didier Deschamps, captain of the first star in 98 and coach during the second in 2018.
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Di Maria holder
The boss of the Blues has seen several of his holders affected by a virus in recent days, especially in defense.
But in the end, he was able to line up his standard team on Sunday, with Raphaël Varane and Dayot Upamecano in central defense, Adrien Rabiot in the middle, Olivier Giroud at the forefront of an attack where Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé will try to make the difference.
Opposite, Scaloni has decided to start the former Parisian Angel Di Maria, apparently free of the muscular problems which prevented him from playing during the majority of the knockout phase.
The final whistle will consecrate the genius of Messi or the precocity of Mbappé, the two heads of the gondola of Paris Saint-Germain under the Qatari banner, during this final organized on Qatar's national day.
The small gas emirate, targeted by numerous extra-sporting controversies, offers itself maximum exposure at the end of the first World Cup organized in the Arab world, broadcast to the four corners of the globe and disputed in front of an audience of chefs. 'State.
French President Emmanuel Macron has thus arrived in Doha, the Qatari news agency QNA reported on Sunday morning.
“We do it again?”, he wrote in a message on social networks accompanied by a video of the celebrations experienced in the locker room after the half.