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France boosted as key players return to training ahead of World Cup final

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France received a welcome boost ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final as Raphael Varane, Kingsley Coman and Ibrahima Konate were among those training on Saturday.

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Aurelien Tchouameni and Theo Hernandez were also present at the session after seemingly overcoming minor knocks since the semi-final win over Morocco.

L’Equipe has reported that none of the five were present at training on Friday, but were there as Saturday’s session began. Only the first 15 minutes of training is open to the media so it is not yet clear just how much the players in question were ultimately able to participate.

Nonetheless, it was a huge boost to France only 24 hours before the final against Argentina.

A virus which had led a number of players in the squad to experience a fever and flu-like symptoms was threatening to rip through the team in recent days.

Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano had also been ill and missed the Morocco game as a result.

Speaking when Coman was confirmed as feeling unwell, coach Didier Deschamps had said that additional care was being taken to ensure no more players would be affected.

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“We are trying to be careful so that it does not spread. The players have put in a great effort on the pitch and obviously their immune systems have suffered,” he explained.

Konate, who was too sick to even leave his room on Friday, and Varane came down with illness after that. But the pair now appear to have recovered and no more cases of the virus have been reported, suggesting that the preventative measures have worked.

Had France been without Varane, Konate and Upamecano, they would have been down to the bare bones at the back, which could have a forced a reshuffle pushing in Jules Kounde from right-back or throwing William Saliba and/or Axel Disasi in at the deep end in the biggest game there is.

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