Liverpool FC defender Ibrahima Konaté and the French national team have qualified for the World Cup final. It will be Argentina vs France in the final. By doing so, France have become the first country to reach back-to-back World Cup Finals since Brazil did so in 2002 (that was a back-to-back-to-back of ‘94, ‘98, and 2002). They are also the first European team to accomplish this since West Germany did so in 1990.
Unfortunately for Konaté, he could not celebrate the achievement. A clip on his Instagram Stories shows him and FC Barcelona defender Jules Koundé being summoned for doping tests after the game. “We can’t even celebrate,” Konaté can be heard saying as he filmed his teammate behind the scenes, with Koundé replying, “It sucks.”
Konaté replaced former Leipzig teammate Dayot Upamecano, suffering from an illness, in the starting lineup against Morocco and was generally praised for his performance. France’s early goal meant they were managing the game state for most of the game, which gave our boy Ibou plenty of opportunities to show off his talents in defence, and he was impressively calm for the entire game. Here’s some of the more impressive stats floating about after the game:
6.9 - Ibrahima Konaté is averaging 6.9 tackles + interceptions per 90 minutes at the 2022 World Cup, the most of any player with 3+ starts. Colossus. pic.twitter.com/pWwfh1Cvdb— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 14, 2022
95 - France's Ibrahima Konaté has won 95% of his duels (21/22) at the #FIFAWorldCup 2022, the highest percentage of any player in the tournament (min. 10 duels). Dominance. #FRAMAR pic.twitter.com/TIfvFPJ8CL— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) December 14, 2022
Liverpool old boy and pundit said this about his performance: “The French MOM was @IbrahimaKonate_. I can’t see how he can be left out of the starting eleven in the final!”
All the best on Sunday, Ibou!