World Cup: France plagued by illness ahead of final against Argentina

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By Isabella Jewell
France's Olivier Giroud, center, and France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, right, practise during a training, 16 December 2023
France's Olivier Giroud, center, and France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, right, practise during a training, 16 December 2023   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Christophe Ena

With the World Cup final just a day away, an outbreak of flu could scupper the French team's chances of victory, with the list of those absent from training getting longer. 

Centre backs Raphaël Varane and Ibrahima Konaté are the latest to catch the illness and have been recovering in self-isolation, after Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano had to miss France's tense semi final against Morocco for the same reason.

So far the French medical team have given few details about the virus afflicting Les Bleus, apart from stating that affected players will remain isolated until they recover, in an attempt to stop the spread of the winter bug. 

Argentina are so far unaffected by the bout of illness and have been continuing their training and preparation for Sunday's final. 

Both teams have won the tournament twice before, so Sunday will be a battle to take the trophy home for the third time, as well as the chance to knock their opponent out of the top three most successful World Cup teams. 

Currently France and Argentina are tied in third place with two wins each, with Brazil soaring ahead with 5 World Cup wins, followed by Germany and Italy, both with four titles. 

France are looking to become the first team in more than two decades to win back-to-back World Cups, while Argentina hope to secure a title for Messi before he retires.