France’s World Cup squad is calmer and more experienced than the one that won in Russia, according to Ousmane Dembele.
Didier Deschamps’ side will become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962 if they overcome Argentina in Sunday’s final at Lusail Stadium.
Dembele was an unused substitute when France beat Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 final but the Barcelona man has emerged as a key part of the team in Qatar.
Despite injuries to Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba leaving France short of key players, Dembele feels the squad is more at ease this time around.
“It’s not a dream yet. We’re calmer and have more experience. We want to prepare well for this final,” he said at a press conference on Friday.
“It will be a great day. We are ready for this fight against a difficult opponent. Argentina are better than they were in 2018.
“In 2018 there were more crazy people in this team. There is a very nice atmosphere in 2022 too, but it is not comparable.”
— French Team (@FrenchTeam)
With France opting against naming a replacement for Benzema after he left their camp with a thigh injury last month, reports have suggested the Ballon d’Or winner could make a shock return for Sunday’s game.
Deschamps refused to comment on those suggestions on Thursday, and Dembele claimed to be in the dark regarding the striker’s availability.
“I don’t know. I’m not the coach,” Dembele said. “I think Benzema got injured and I don’t have an explanation.”