France saw off a heroic Morocco on Wednesday night to set up a mouth-watering tie with Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final on Sunday.
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand believes Lionel Messi and his team-mates will be relishing the thought of playing the current holders.
Theo Hernandez was the first opposition player to score against Morocco in Qatar when he broke the deadlock in the fifth minute of the semi-final, with Randal Muani coming off the bench in the second half to double the lead with his first touch.
Despite France becoming the first side to reach successive World Cup finals since Brazil in 2002, Ferdinand suggested that Argentina will be “licking their lips” at the prospect of taking on the current holders on December 18.
“As good as France are, I think Messi and his team will be sitting there licking their lips a little bit, fancying themselves in certain areas,” Ferdinand told the BBC after the match.
“That left-hand side area for France, when France are ran at, at times they panic, and when you’ve got [Julian] Alvarez and Messi dancing, wriggling around, it’s going to be really [difficult].”
Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba sided with his old rival and felt that France’s left side could be seen as a weak link.
“We said it before the game, if they put the intensity, if they keep moving and trying to exploit this left side of the French team, they will be dangerous,” Drogba said.
“And that’s exactly what happened. Most of the danger came from the left side.”
Alan Shearer took Ferdinand and Drogba’s views on board but claimed France’s “experience” helped to get them over the line, which could also be the case on Sunday.
“I go back to what we say of how experienced that French team are,” Shearer argued. “They’ve been there and they know how to get over the line.”
Messi will come head-to-head with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe when France and Argentina face off on Sunday at Lusail Stadium for a shot at football’s most prestigious prize.
The pair lead the Golden Boot race with five goals apiece, and Mbappe will seek to edge his PSG colleague in the goalscoring rankings in the hope that he can secure his second World Cup medal at the age of 23.
Messi, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, is searching for his first World Cup title as his international career winds down.
Neutrals will hope for a similar clash to the last time the two sides met at the World Cup in 2018.
France edged the last-16 tie 4-3 thanks to a brace from a 19-year-old Mbappe.