France national under-21 football team

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France Under-21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Les Bleuets (The Little Blues)
Les Espoirs (The Hopes)
AssociationFrench Football Federation
Head coachSylvain Ripoll
Most capsMickaël Landreau (43)
Top scorerPéguy Luyindula (14)
First colours
Second colours
First international
U23: France France 0–0 Norway 
(Alès, France; 11 November 1970)
U21: France France 1–1 Belgium 
(Amiens, France; 3 September 1976)
Biggest win
France France 7–0 Yugoslavia 
(Reims, France; 16 November 1985)
Biggest defeat
 England 6–0 France France
(Sheffield, England; 28 February 1984)
Records for competitive
matches only.
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances8 (first in 1982)
Best resultWinners (1988)

The France national under-21 football team (French: Equipe de France Espoirs), known in France as Les Espoirs (French pronunciation: ​[ɛs.pwaʁ], The Hopes), is the national under-21 football team of France and is controlled by the French Football Federation. The team competes in the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, held every two years.

Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, under-21 football teams in Europe were formed. The team is exclusively for football players that are age 21 or under at the start of the two-year campaign of the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship meaning a player can represent the national team until the age of 23.

France has won the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship once in 1988. Notable players on the team that went on to play for the senior national team include Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Franck Sauzée, and Jocelyn Angloma, among others.[1] Blanc was named the tournament's Golden Player.[2] The team's best finish since was in 2002 when the team finished runner-up to the Czech Republic in Switzerland.

The France under-21 team does not have a permanent home. The team plays in stadiums located all around France, particularly grounds of Ligue 2 clubs. Because of the smaller demand compared to the senior national team, smaller facilities are used. Recently, the under-21 team has established the Stade Auguste-Delaune II, home of Stade Reims, as a home residence having played numerous matches there over the past two seasons.

History[edit]

Though, under-21 teams weren't formed until 1976, Les Espoirs, a youth national team in France, had existed since 1950 playing its first match on 22 May 1952 defeating England 7–1 at the Stade Jules Deschaseaux in Le Havre. The team's next match was two years later suffering a 3–1 defeat to Italy in Vicenza. For the rest of the decade, the youth team played seven more matches, which included a 1–1 draw with Hungary in Budapest and a 2–0 loss to England in Sunderland in 1959. In the 1960s, Espoirs continued to play matches against fellow national youth sides. However, on 18 December 1968, the team contested a match against Algeria senior team in Algiers recording an impressive 5–2 victory. Four days later, the team draw 1–1 with the under-23 team of Algeria in Oran. On 12 February 1969, the Espoirs played the Hungary senior team at the Stade Gerland in Lyon. The match ended in a 2–2 draw.

Results and fixtures 2017–2019[edit]

2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Qualification[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  France 10 9 1 0 24 6 +18 28 Final tournament 1–1 2–1 4–1 3–0 2–0
2  Slovenia 10 4 4 2 14 12 +2 16 1–3 2–0 2–1 1–1 3–1
3  Montenegro 10 3 2 5 15 15 0 11 0–2 1–3 5–1 0–0 3–0
4  Kazakhstan 10 2 4 4 13 18 −5 10[a] 0–3 0–0 1–1 1–1 3–0
5  Bulgaria 10 2 4 4 10 11 −1 10[a] 0–1 3–0 3–1 2–2 0–1
6  Luxembourg 10 2 1 7 7 21 −14 7 2–3 1–1 1–3 0–3[b] 1–0
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head results: Bulgaria 2–2 Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan 1–1 Bulgaria (Kazakhstan won on away goals).
  2. ^ The Luxembourg v Kazakhstan originally ended with a 1–2 win for Kazakhstan, but was later awarded as a 0–3 win for Kazakhstan, after UEFA concluded that Luxembourg had played an ineligible player.[3]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

For the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons, including the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, players born on or after 1 January 1998 are eligible.[4]

The following players have been called up to participate in the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.[5]

Note: Names in italics denote players that have been capped by the senior team.

Caps and goals as of 27 June 2019, after the team's match against  Spain.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Gautier Larsonneur (1997-02-23) 23 February 1997 (age 22) 2 0 France Brest
16 1GK Maxence Prévot (1997-04-09) 9 April 1997 (age 22) 1 0 France Sochaux
23 1GK Paul Bernardoni (1997-04-18) 18 April 1997 (age 22) 18 0 France Nîmes

2 2DF Kelvin Amian (1998-02-08) 8 February 1998 (age 21) 14 0 France Toulouse
3 2DF Fodé Ballo-Touré (1997-01-03) 3 January 1997 (age 22) 9 0 France Monaco
4 2DF Ibrahima Konaté (1999-05-25) 25 May 1999 (age 20) 8 0 Germany RB Leipzig
5 2DF Dayot Upamecano (1998-10-27) 27 October 1998 (age 20) 13 0 Germany RB Leipzig
13 2DF Colin Dagba (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 20) 4 0 France Paris Saint-Germain
15 2DF Malang Sarr (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 20) 8 0 France Nice
17 2DF Moussa Niakhate (1996-03-08) 8 March 1996 (age 23) 11 0 Germany Mainz 05
19 2DF Anthony Caci (1997-07-01) 1 July 1997 (age 22) 2 0 France Strasbourg

6 3MF Lucas Tousart (Captain) (1997-04-29) 29 April 1997 (age 22) 24 0 France Lyon
8 3MF Houssem Aouar (1998-06-30) 30 June 1998 (age 21) 14 2 France Lyon
7 3MF Romain Del Castillo (1996-03-29) 29 March 1996 (age 23) 10 0 France Rennes
10 3MF Matteo Guendouzi (1999-04-14) 14 April 1999 (age 20) 9 0 England Arsenal
18 3MF Ibrahima Sissoko (1997-10-27) 27 October 1997 (age 21) 4 0 France Strasbourg
21 3MF Olivier Ntcham (1996-02-09) 9 February 1996 (age 23) 20 1 Scotland Celtic
22 3MF Jeff Reine-Adélaïde (1998-01-17) 17 January 1998 (age 21) 12 3 France Angers

9 4FW Moussa Dembélé (1996-07-12) 12 July 1996 (age 23) 25 13 France Lyon
11 4FW Jean-Philippe Mateta (1997-06-28) 28 June 1997 (age 22) 11 2 Germany Mainz 05
12 4FW Jonathan Ikoné (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 21) 11 2 France Lille
20 4FW Marcus Thuram (1997-08-06) 6 August 1997 (age 22) 5 0 France Guingamp

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the France under-21 squad and remain eligible:

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Alban Lafont (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 20) 0 0 France Nantes v.  Kazakhstan, 5 September 2017

DF Stanley Nsoki (1999-04-09) 9 April 1999 (age 20) 1 0 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Spain, 19 November 2018
DF Sofiane Alakouch (1998-07-29) 29 July 1998 (age 21) 1 0 France Nîmes v.  Italy, 29 May 2018
DF Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel (1998-06-13) 13 June 1998 (age 21) 1 0 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Luxembourg, 9 October 2017


Notes
  • CLU Player withdrew from the squad because of a club necessity.
  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
  • SEN Player withdrew from the squad due to a call up to the senior team.
  • SH Player sent home by team staff.

Previous squads[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

As of 2018
Position Name Nationality
Manager Sylvain Ripoll  French
Assistant manager Patrice Gonfalone  French
Assistant manager José Alcocer  French
Goalkeeping coach Sylvain Matrisciano  French
Doctor François Brochet  French
Physiotherapist Guy Puravet  French

Competitive record[edit]

For single-match results of the under-21 national team, see French football single-season articles.

UEFA U-23 Championship Record[edit]

  • 1972: Did not qualify. Finished 4th of 4 in qualification group.
  • 1974: Did not qualify. Finished 3rd of 3 in qualification group.
  • 1976: Losing quarter-finalists.

UEFA European Under-21 Championship Record[edit]

Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
1978 Did not qualify 4 0 1 3 4 6
1980 4 2 1 1 3 2
1982 Quarterfinals 6 3 1 2 9 8
1984 Quarterfinals 6 3 1 2 11 9
1986 Quarterfinals 8 2 3 3 13 13
1988 Champions 12 6 5 1 21 13
1990 Did not qualify 6 3 2 1 11 7
1992 8 3 2 3 7 5
France 1994 Fourth Place 14 10 2 2 24 8
Spain 1996 Third Place 14 8 4 2 30 5
Romania 1998 Did not qualify 8 4 3 1 13 8
Slovakia 2000 8 6 2 2 19 6
Switzerland 2002 Runners-Up 15 12 3 0 27 7
Germany 2004 Did not qualify 10 8 1 1 20 7
Portugal 2006 Semi-finals 14 10 2 2 24 10
Netherlands 2007 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 6 3
Sweden 2009 10 5 3 2 17 7
Denmark 2011 8 4 3 1 12 6
Israel 2013 10 8 0 2 23 7
Czech Republic 2015 10 8 1 1 31 11
Poland 2017 10 6 2 2 17 8
Italy San Marino 2019 Semi-finals 14 11 2 1 28 11
Total 1 title 195 115 44 36 338 157
*Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Honours[edit]

Champions (1): 1988
Finalists (1): 2002
Champions (12): 1977, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2015
Finalists (14): 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016

Broadcaster[edit]

France's under-21 football friendlies and qualifying matches are broadcast by Direct 8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1988: France sweep to final glory". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ "1988: Laurent Blanc". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  3. ^ "МОЛОДЕЖНАЯ СБОРНАЯ КАЗАХСТАНА ВЫРВАЛА НИЧЬЮ У БОЛГАРИИ". Football Federation of Kazakhstan. 6 October 2017.
  4. ^ "2017-19 UEFA European Under-21 Championship regulations" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Dernière sélection". French Football Federation (in French). 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.

External links[edit]