Didier Deschamps believes that the illness that had been running through the French camp before the World Cup final could have cost them after they were beaten by Argentina on Sunday.
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The epic final finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and 3-3 after extra-time before the South American team triumphed in the penalty shootout.
What may sound like an even game did not seem like one for large periods as Argentina were clearly dominant in the vast majority of the opening 90 minutes.
Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria put them 2-0 up in the first half and they appeared to be easing to an easy victory before France won a penalty 80 minutes in which Kylian Mbappe scored.
The Frenchman netted again a minute later and from there until the shootout the clash was a fairly level contest, which it had not been before Mbappe first goal of the game.
There had been numerous reports of France players falling ill in the days leading up to the final, with players like Upamecano, Adrien Rabiot, Kingsley Coman, Varane and Konate all under the weather due to an unidentified illness.
No player was ruled out of the final due to poor health, with Upamecano, Rabiot and Varane all starting the game against Argentina, but Deschamps feels the illness could have been hampering his team on Sunday.
‘The squad have been facing a tricky situation for a while and that could have affected them,’ he said. We just didn’t show the energy for an hour.’
On the performance of referee Szymon Marciniak, who gave Argentina one and France two penalties over the course of the game, Deschamps added: ‘I said before the match that Argentina had been lucky. I’m not saying they were helped. I just want to say congratulations.’
On the game, Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said: ‘The match was completely insane.
‘We could and should have won it in 90 minutes but I wasn’t lucky enough. But now, I have the best feelings ever. We were fighters despite the goals we conceded. We kept on fighting.’