France national under-21 football team

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.

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 scorerOdsonne Édouard (17)
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
Appearances9 (first in 1982)
Best resultWinners (1988)

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.

HistoryEdit

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.

Team imageEdit

Media coverageEdit

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

Results and fixturesEdit

Legend

  Win   Draw   Lose   Fixture

2020Edit

12 November 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2 Liechtenstein   0–5   France Vaduz, Liechtenstein
20:45 Report
Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion
Attendance: 0
Referee: Morten Krogh (Denmark)
16 November 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2 France   3–1    Switzerland Caen, France
21:00
Report
Stadium: Stade Michel d'Ornano
Attendance: 0
Referee: Vitali Meshkov (Russia)

2021Edit

31 March 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group C Iceland   0–2   France Győr, Hungary
18:00 Report
Stadium: Ménfői úti Stadion
Attendance: 0
Referee: Lawrence Visser (Belgium)
8 October 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group H France   5–0   Ukraine Brest, France
Report Stadium: Stade Francis-Le Blé
Referee: Nick Walsh (Scotland)

2022Edit

Coaching staffEdit

Current coaching staffEdit

As of 22 April 2021
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

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

For the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons, including the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, players born on or after 1 January 2000 are eligible.

The following 23 players have been called up for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against Armenia on 11 November 2021 and North Macedonia on 16 November 2021.[3]

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

Caps and goals as of 11 November 2021, after the team's match against   Armenia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Illan Meslier (2000-03-02) 2 March 2000 (age 21) 6 0   Leeds United
1GK Stefan Bajić (2001-12-23) 23 December 2001 (age 19) 0 0   Saint-Étienne
1GK Guillaume Dietsch (2001-04-17) 17 April 2001 (age 20) 0 0   Seraing

2DF Benoît Badiashile (2001-03-26) 26 March 2001 (age 20) 11 0   Monaco
2DF Adrien Truffert (2001-01-20) 20 January 2001 (age 20) 9 0   Rennes
2DF Pierre Kalulu (2000-06-05) 5 June 2000 (age 21) 6 1   Milan
2DF William Saliba (captain) (2001-03-24) 24 March 2001 (age 20) 4 0   Marseille
2DF Loïc Badé (2000-04-11) 11 April 2000 (age 21) 3 0   Rennes
2DF Malo Gusto (2003-05-19) 19 May 2003 (age 18) 2 0   Lyon
2DF Castello Lukeba (2002-12-17) 17 December 2002 (age 18) 0 0   Lyon

3MF Maxence Caqueret (2000-02-15) 15 February 2000 (age 21) 10 1   Lyon
3MF Eduardo Camavinga (2002-11-10) 10 November 2002 (age 19) 7 1   Real Madrid
3MF Sofiane Diop (2000-06-09) 9 June 2000 (age 21) 5 3   Monaco
3MF Khéphren Thuram (2001-03-26) 26 March 2001 (age 20) 5 0   Nice
3MF Joris Chotard (2001-09-24) 24 September 2001 (age 20) 2 0   Montpellier
3MF Enzo Le Fée (2000-02-03) 3 February 2000 (age 21) 2 1   Lorient

4FW Arnaud Kalimuendo (2002-01-20) 20 January 2002 (age 19) 6 3   Lens
4FW Mohamed-Ali Cho (2004-01-19) 19 January 2004 (age 17) 5 0   Angers
4FW Rayan Cherki (2003-08-17) 17 August 2003 (age 18) 3 4   Lyon
4FW Amine Adli (2000-05-10) 10 May 2000 (age 21) 3 2   Bayer Leverkusen
4FW Nathan Ngoumou (2000-03-14) 14 March 2000 (age 21) 1 0   Toulouse
4FW Hugo Ekitike (2002-06-20) 20 June 2002 (age 19) 0 0   Reims

Recent call-upsEdit

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

DF Melvin Bard (2000-11-06) 6 November 2000 (age 21) 3 0   Nice v.   Armenia, 11 November 2021 INJ
DF Andy Pelmard (2000-03-12) 12 March 2000 (age 21) 2 0   Basel v.   Faroe Islands, 6 September 2021
DF Wesley Fofana (2000-12-17) 17 December 2000 (age 20) 3 0   Leicester City v.   Denmark, 25 March 2021 INJ
DF Rayan Aït-Nouri (2001-06-06) 6 June 2001 (age 20) 5 0   Wolverhampton Wanderers v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
DF Bafodé Diakité (2001-01-06) 6 January 2001 (age 20) 0 0   Toulouse v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020

MF Alexis Beka Beka (2001-03-29) 29 March 2001 (age 20) 0 0   Lokomotiv Moscow v.   Serbia, 12 October 2021
MF Aurélien Tchouaméni (2000-01-27) 27 January 2000 (age 21) 4 0   Monaco v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ

FW Amine Gouiri (2000-02-16) 16 February 2000 (age 21) 16 6   Nice v.   Armenia, 11 November 2021 INJ
FW Janis Antiste (2002-08-18) 18 August 2002 (age 19) 1 0   Spezia v.   Serbia, 12 October 2021
FW Nathanaël Mbuku (2002-03-16) 16 March 2002 (age 19) 2 1   Reims v.   Faroe Islands, 6 September 2021
FW Sékou Mara (2002-07-30) 30 July 2002 (age 19) 2 0   Bordeaux v.   Faroe Islands, 6 September 2021
FW Isaac Lihadji (2002-04-10) 10 April 2002 (age 19) 2 1   Lille v.    Switzerland, 16 November 2020
FW Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe (2000-11-21) 21 November 2000 (age 21) 1 0   Dijon v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
Notes
  • Players in italics have played at senior level.
  • COV Withdrew due to COVID-19
  • 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 squadsEdit

HonoursEdit

Champions (1): 1988
Runners-up (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

Competitive recordEdit

UEFA U-23 ChampionshipEdit

  • 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 ChampionshipEdit

Year Result Pld 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
  1994 Fourth Place 14 10 2 2 24 8
  1996 Third Place 14 8 4 2 30 5
  1998 Did not qualify 8 4 3 1 13 8
  2000 8 6 2 2 19 6
  2002 Runners-Up 15 12 3 0 27 7
  2004 Did not qualify 10 8 1 1 20 7
  2006 Semi-finals 14 10 2 2 24 10
  2007 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 6 3
  2009 10 5 3 2 17 7
  2011 8 4 3 1 12 6
  2013 10 8 0 2 23 7
  2015 10 8 1 1 31 11
  2017 10 6 2 2 17 8
    2019 Semi-finals 14 11 2 1 28 11
    2021 Qualified 10 9 0 1 32 10
Total 1 title 205 124 44 37 370 167
*Draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

2021 UEFA European Under-21 ChampionshipEdit

QualificationEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   France 10 9 0 1 32 10 +22 27 Final tournament 3–1 3–2 1–0 5–0 5–0
2    Switzerland 10 9 0 1 26 8 +18 27 3–1 2–1 4–1 2–1 3–0
3   Georgia 10 5 0 5 17 14 +3 15 0–2 0–3 2–1 1–0 4–0
4   Slovakia 10 4 0 6 22 21 +1 12 3–5 1–2 3–2 2–1 6–0
5   Azerbaijan 10 2 0 8 6 18 −12 6 1–2 0–1 0–3 2–1 1–0
6   Liechtenstein 10 1 0 9 3 35 −32 3 0–5 0–5 0–2 2–4 1–0
Source: UEFA

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1988: France sweep to final glory". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ "1988: Laurent Blanc". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Fédération Française de Football".

External linksEdit