Raphael Varane felt unwell before World Cup final defeat vs Argentina

Raphael Varane wasn’t feeling well after an illness impacted the France squad ahead of the World Cup final.

France lost on penalties after a 3-3 draw, with Didier Deschamps’ side not having any impact on the game in the first 80 minutes of the match.

Varane confirmed after the match that he “wasn’t well”, as per The Athletic, and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said he was “empty” and “drained”.

In the lead up to the eagerly awaited final, a number of France players — Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot — missed training due to feeling unwell. They both missed the semi-final victory over Morocco as a result.

Other players who reported sick ahead of the final included Ibrahima Konate and Kingsley Coman.

When it came to kick-off, Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina side chased them down like a pack of angry dogs, while Lionel Messi waited to pounce at any opportunity. It was fitting to see the greatest player of all-time bow out with the World Cup trophy.

We were also very happy to see Lisandro Martinez pick up a World Cup winners’ medal.

France only got going in the 80th minute. Two goals in 97 seconds from Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe turned the game on its head. In extra time, Mbappe scored again in the 117th-minute to complete his hat-trick and force a penalty shootout after Lionel Messi had put Argentina back in front.

Deschamps was quick to suggest France had felt the physical impact of an illness in the run up to the game, although he didn’t quite blame it for the outcome of the game.

“The whole squad has been facing a tricky situation for a while now,” the France manager said, as per The Guardian. “Maybe that had a physical or psychological impact. But I had no concerns about the players who started the match: they were 100% fit.

“We only had four days since the last match so there was some tiredness, perhaps. That’s not an excuse, we just didn’t have the same energy as in the previous match and that’s why, for the first hour or so, we weren’t in the match.”

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