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 Edouard (15)
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)

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.

Results and fixtures 2019–2021Edit

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

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

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.[3]

The following players were called up to participate in 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against Liechtenstein U21 and Switzerland U21 on 12 and 16 November 2020.[4]

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

Caps and goals as of 16 November 2020, after the team's match against    Switzerland.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Alban Lafont (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 21) 11 0   Nantes
1GK Dimitry Bertaud (1998-06-06) 6 June 1998 (age 22) 1 0   Montpellier
1GK Illan Meslier (2000-03-02) 2 March 2000 (age 20) 0 0   Leeds United

2DF Colin Dagba (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 22) 13 1   Paris Saint-Germain
2DF Ibrahima Konaté (1999-05-25) 25 May 1999 (age 21) 11 0   RB Leipzig
2DF Boubacar Kamara (1999-11-23) 23 November 1999 (age 21) 8 0   Marseille
2DF Nicolas Cozza (1999-01-08) 8 January 1999 (age 21) 6 0   Montpellier
2DF Jules Koundé (1998-11-12) 12 November 1998 (age 22) 5 1   Sevilla
2DF Benoît Badiashile (2001-03-26) 26 March 2001 (age 19) 4 0   Monaco
2DF Adrien Truffert (2001-01-20) 20 January 2001 (age 19) 2 0   Rennes
2DF Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel (1998-06-13) 13 June 1998 (age 22) 1 0   Brest

3MF Jeff Reine-Adélaïde (captain) (1998-01-17) 17 January 1998 (age 22) 21 7   Nice
3MF Matteo Guendouzi (vice-captain) (1999-04-14) 14 April 1999 (age 21) 17 0   Hertha BSC
3MF Boubakary Soumaré (1999-02-27) 27 February 1999 (age 21) 10 0   Lille
3MF Romain Faivre (1998-07-14) 14 July 1998 (age 22) 4 2   Brest
3MF Maxence Caqueret (2000-02-15) 15 February 2000 (age 20) 4 0   Lyon
3MF Ibrahima Diallo (1999-03-08) 8 March 1999 (age 21) 4 0   Southampton

4FW Moussa Diaby (1999-07-07) 7 July 1999 (age 21) 11 0   Bayer Leverkusen
4FW Odsonne Édouard (1998-01-16) 16 January 1998 (age 22) 10 15   Celtic
4FW Amine Gouiri (2000-02-16) 16 February 2000 (age 20) 8 4   Nice
4FW Randal Kolo (1998-12-05) 5 December 1998 (age 21) 4 1   Nantes
4FW Isaac Lihadji (2002-04-10) 10 April 2002 (age 18) 2 1   Lille

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
GK Gaëtan Poussin (1999-01-13) 13 January 1999 (age 21) 0 0   Bordeaux v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019

DF Dayot Upamecano (1998-10-27) 27 October 1998 (age 22) 15 0   RB Leipzig v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
DF Rayan Aït-Nouri (2001-06-06) 6 June 2001 (age 19) 5 0   Wolverhampton Wanderers v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
DF Wesley Fofana (2000-12-17) 17 December 2000 (age 19) 2 0   Leicester City v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
DF Andy Pelmard (2000-03-12) 12 March 2000 (age 20) 2 0   Nice v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
DF Yvann Maçon (1998-10-01) 1 October 1998 (age 22) 2 0   Saint-Étienne v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020
DF Bafodé Diakité (2001-01-06) 6 January 2001 (age 19) 0 0   Toulouse v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020
DF Melvin Bard (2000-11-06) 6 November 2000 (age 20) 1 0   Lyon v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020 INJ
DF Faitout Maouassa (1998-06-06) 6 June 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Rennes v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
DF Evan N'Dicka (1999-08-20) 20 August 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Eintracht Frankfurt v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
DF Dan-Axel Zagadou (1999-06-03) 3 June 1999 (age 21) 6 2   Borussia Dortmund v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
DF Kelvin Amian (1998-02-08) 8 February 1998 (age 22) 18 0   Toulouse v.   Slovakia, 15 October 2019
DF Sofiane Alakouch (1998-07-29) 29 July 1998 (age 22) 1 0   Nîmes v.   Slovakia, 15 October 2019
DF Malang Sarr (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 21) 8 0   Porto 2019 UEFA Under-21 Football Championship
DF Stanley Nsoki (1999-04-09) 9 April 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Nice v.   Spain, 19 November 2018

MF Houssem Aouar (1998-06-30) 30 June 1998 (age 22) 16 4   Lyon v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 SEN
MF Imran Louza (1999-05-01) 1 May 1999 (age 21) 6 0   Nantes v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
MF Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (1998-06-27) 27 June 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Strasbourg v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
MF Zaydou Youssouf (1999-07-11) 11 July 1999 (age 21) 2 0   Saint-Étienne v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
MF Eduardo Camavinga (2002-11-10) 10 November 2002 (age 18) 1 0   Rennes v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
MF Youssouf Fofana (1999-01-10) 10 January 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Monaco v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
MF Jean-Victor Makengo (1998-06-12) 12 June 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Udinese v.   Slovakia, 15 October 2019
MF Antoine Bernède (1999-05-26) 26 May 1999 (age 21) 2 0   Red Bull Salzburg v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019

FW Jonathan Ikoné (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 22) 14 3   Lille v.   Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ
FW Arnaud Nordin (1998-06-17) 17 June 1998 (age 22) 7 1   Saint-Étienne v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020
FW Arnaud Kalimuendo (2002-01-20) 20 January 2002 (age 18) 1 0   Lens v.   Slovakia, 12 October 2020
FW Bryan Mbeumo (1999-08-07) 7 August 1999 (age 21) 6 1   Brentford v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
FW Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe (2000-11-21) 21 November 2000 (age 20) 1 0   Dijon v.   Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020
FW Mounir Chouiar (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Dijon v.    Switzerland, 19 November 2019
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

Coaching staffEdit

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 recordEdit

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

UEFA U-23 Championship RecordEdit

  • 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 RecordEdit

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
  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 by penalty shootout.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

HonoursEdit

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

BroadcasterEdit

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

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. ^ "2017-19 UEFA European Under-21 Championship regulations" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Dernière sélection". French Football Federation (in French). 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.

External linksEdit