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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 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)

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    Switzerland 3 3 0 0 8 1 +7 9 Final tournament 19 Nov '19 2–1 4 Sep '20 26 Mar '20 13 Oct '20
2   France 2 2 0 0 10 3 +7 6 Final tournament if best runners-up
(Play-offs otherwise)
30 Mar '20 15 Nov '19 12 Oct '20 5–0 8 Oct '20
3   Georgia 3 2 0 1 8 2 +6 6 9 Oct '20 4 Sep '20 26 Mar '20 13 Oct '20 4–0
4   Slovakia 3 1 0 2 8 9 −1 3[a] 8 Sep '20 3–5 18 Nov '19 8 Oct '20 31 Mar '20
5   Azerbaijan 5 1 0 4 2 11 −9 3[a] 0–1 7 Sep '20 0–3 2–1 14 Nov '19
6   Liechtenstein 4 1 0 3 3 13 −10 3[a] 0–5 26 Mar '20 8 Sep '20 2–4 1–0
Updated to match(es) played on 15 October 2019. Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b c Ranked on head-to-head points (goal difference): Slovakia 3 (+1), Azerbaijan 3 (0), Liechtenstein 3 (–1).

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 have been called up to participate in friendlies against Azerbaijan U21 and Slovakia U21 on 10 and 15 October 2019.[4]

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

Caps and goals as of 10 October 2019, after the team's match against   Azerbaijan.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Alban Lafont (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Nantes
1GK Dimitry Bertaud (1998-06-06) 6 June 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Montpellier
1GK Illan Meslier (2000-03-02) 2 March 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Leeds United

2DF Kelvin Amian (1998-02-08) 8 February 1998 (age 21) 17 0   Toulouse
2DF Dayot Upamecano (1998-10-27) 27 October 1998 (age 20) 13 0   RB Leipzig
2DF Dan-Axel Zagadou (1999-06-03) 3 June 1999 (age 20) 3 2   Borussia Dortmund
2DF Boubacar Kamara (1999-11-23) 23 November 1999 (age 19) 3 0   Marseille
2DF Nicolas Cozza (1999-01-08) 8 January 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Montpellier
2DF Sofiane Alakouch (1998-07-29) 29 July 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Nîmes
2DF Faitout Maouassa (1998-06-06) 6 June 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Rennes

3MF Houssem Aouar (1998-06-30) 30 June 1998 (age 21) 15 3   Lyon
3MF Jeff Reine-Adélaïde (Captain) (1998-01-17) 17 January 1998 (age 21) 15 3   Lyon
3MF Matteo Guendouzi (1999-04-14) 14 April 1999 (age 20) 10 0   Arsenal
3MF Imran Louza (1999-05-01) 1 May 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Nantes
3MF Boubakary Soumaré (1999-02-27) 27 February 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Lille
3MF Jean-Victor Makengo (1998-06-12) 12 June 1998 (age 21) 3 0   Toulouse
3MF Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (1998-06-27) 27 June 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Strasbourg

4FW Odsonne Édouard (1998-01-16) 16 January 1998 (age 21) 4 9   Celtic
4FW Amine Gouiri (2000-02-16) 16 February 2000 (age 19) 3 1   Lyon
4FW Moussa Diaby (1999-07-07) 7 July 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Bayer Leverkusen
4FW Bryan Mbeumo (1999-08-07) 7 August 1999 (age 20) 2 1   Brentford
4FW Arnaud Nordin (1998-06-17) 17 June 1998 (age 21) 1 1   Saint-Étienne

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 20) 0 0   Bordeaux v.   Azerbaijan, 10 October 2019 INJ

DF Rayan Aït-Nouri (2001-06-06) 6 June 2001 (age 18) 2 0   Angers v.   Azerbaijan, 10 October 2019 INJ
DF Ibrahima Konaté (1999-05-25) 25 May 1999 (age 20) 9 0   RB Leipzig v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019
DF Colin Dagba (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 21) 6 0   Paris Saint-Germain v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019
DF Evan N'Dicka (1999-08-20) 20 August 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Eintracht Frankfurt v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019
DF Malang Sarr (1999-01-23) 23 January 1999 (age 20) 8 0   Nice 2019 UEFA Under-21 Football Championship
DF Stanley Nsoki (1999-04-09) 9 April 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Nice v.   Spain, 19 November 2018
DF Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel (1998-06-13) 13 June 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Mainz 05 v.   Luxembourg, 9 October 2017

MF Antoine Bernède (1999-05-26) 26 May 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Red Bull Salzburg v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019
MF Ibrahima Diallo (1999-03-08) 8 March 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Brest v.   Czech Republic, 9 September 2019

FW Jonathan Ikoné (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 21) 11 2   Lille 2019 UEFA Under-21 Football Championship
Notes
  • Players in italics have played at senior level.
  • 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
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.

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). Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ "1988: Laurent Blanc". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 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