Konate has started two of France’s four matches in Qatar so far. Despite a standout performance in their final group game against Tunisia, he was dropped to the bench for their last 16 victory over Poland.
Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, has had to settle for much less game time for England, with his only minutes so far coming towards the end of the Three Lions’ win against Wales.
Both may well be on the bench again when the two nations meet in the last eight on Saturday evening, and speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Konate said the pair had exchanged messages prior to the match.
“Alexander-Arnold sent me a message saying ‘see you Saturday my brother’ because I am very close to him,” he said in a pre-match press conference.
He went on to claim that he expects Kylian Mbappe to be fit for the match, despite the PSG forward missing a training session earlier this week.
Konate has only played a handful of games for France’s senior team, but says he’s fully aware of the rivarly between the two nations, having played against England at youth level.
“This rivalry has existed for a long time, in the under-16s I played against England and it was a unique match,” he added.
The Liverpool centre-back was also quizzed on which team he thought would go all the way in Qatar later this month, and says he hopes one of his Liverpool team-mates lift the trophy if he is unable to win it himself.
“I want to say France but then you’re going to use that against us!” he continued.
“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.”
With Konate’s France, Alexander-Arnold and Henderson’s England, Alisson and Fabinho‘s Brazil and Virgil van Dijk‘s Netherlands all reaching the last eight, there’s every chance the Frenchman’s wish will come true.