Didier Deschamps has revealed France are taking precautions to stop a virus spreading through the squad before the World Cup final against Argentina.
Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot were unavailable for Wednesday’s 2-0 semifinal win over Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium after suffering with sickness in recent days.
Although Deschamps is hopeful both players will be able to return for Sunday’s showpiece — where Les Bleus could become the first team to successfully defend the trophy since Brazil in 1962 — he revealed the pair had been initially been isolated from others.
Upamecano returned to training on Tuesday and was named on the bench against Morocco while Rabiot was left back at the team hotel with sources telling ESPN he was told to stay in his room.
Kingsley Coman was also “feverish” earlier in the day according to Deschamps. Although the specific virus affecting the France camp is as yet unclear, many visitors to Qatar have struggled with Middle East respiratory syndrome, which can cause a flu-like illness ranging in severity.
“In Doha, temperatures have fallen a little bit, you have air conditioning which is on all the time,” said Deschamps.
“We’ve had a few cases of flu-like symptoms. We are trying to be careful so it doesn’t spread and players have made great efforts out on the pitch and obviously their immune systems suffer.
“Dayot Upamecano felt sick immediately after the match [against England]. It happens when you make such an effort, your body is weakened and you are more prone to be infected by these viruses.
“We are taking all necessary precautions, we are trying to make sure it doesn’t spread but viruses are of course infectious and we have to take precautions against it. We separated him from others and Adrien as well.”
Goals from Theo Hernandez and substitute Randal Kolo Muani were enough to give France victory over a spirited Morocco side.
Antoine Griezmann was voted man of the match after another influential display and he admitted defeating an Argentina side led by Lionel Messi — in “scintillating form” as Deschamps declared — would require another step up.
“Any team with Messi in is a totally different proposition,” said Griezmann. “We have seen practically all of their matches at this World Cup, we have seen Argentina play, we know how they play, they are a difficult team to play and they seem to be on top form.
“Of course, not only Messi, they have a strong side around him so we know it is going to be a tough game and they will have a lot of support in the crowd.
“We will get back to work tomorrow, focused on it, how we can hurt them, how we can defend against them, we will be well-prepared.”