France will play England on Saturday in a World Cup quarter-final, and when they do, Liverpool FC teammates Ibrahima Konaté, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold will be on opposing sides as the European giants vie for a place in the semi-final against either Portugal or Morocco.
Speaking at a press conference for the French national team ahead of Friday’s match, Konaté revealed that he had been in touch with his club teammates to talk about their upcoming meeting.
“This rivalry has existed for a long time,” Konaté noted. “In U16 I played England and it was a different match. This rivalry has existed since the dawn of time. Alexander-Arnold sent me a message saying ‘see you Saturday my brother’ because I am very close to him.”
When asked about who he thinks will win the cup, Konaté made a show of giving it some consideration but in the end made the only choice he realistically could—though with a slight twist that allowed a little room England, Brazil, or the Netherlands.
“I want to say France but then you’re going to use that against us!” he said. “It’s difficult, there can be so many surprises. If I have to choose one, it will be France. Or a team with Liverpool players.”
Konaté has started two of the reigning World Champions’ four matches. He played the full 90 minutes in their opening victory against Australia and their upset loss to Tunisia, and came off the bench against Denmark for 15 minutes, but did not play in their Round of 16 knockout tie against Poland.
With his Premier League experience, there’s a chance he could be back in the starting lineup against England when the two sides face off on Saturday at 7PM GMT.