France women's national football team
The French women's national football team (French: Équipe de France féminine de football, sometimes shortened as Féminin A) represents France in international women's football. The team is directed by the French Football Federation (FFF) and competes as a member of UEFA in various international football tournaments such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, UEFA Women's Euro, the Summer Olympics, and the Algarve Cup.
|Nickname(s)||Les Bleues (The Blues)|
|Association||French Football Federation|
|Head coach||Olivier Echouafni|
|Most caps||Sandrine Soubeyrand (198)|
|Top scorer||Marinette Pichon (81)|
|Current||3 (24 March 2017)|
|Highest||3 (December 2014–)|
|Lowest||10 (September 2009)|
| France 2–0 England
(Manchester, England; October 1920)
France 14–0 Bulgaria
(Le Mans, France; 28 November 2013)
| Germany 7–0 France
(Bad Kreuznach, Germany; 2 September 1992)
|Appearances||3 (first in 2003)|
|Best result||4th (2011)|
|Appearances||6 (first in 1997)|
|Best result||Quarterfinals (2009, 2013)|
The France women's national team initially struggled on the international stage failing to qualify for three of the first FIFA Women's World Cups and the six straight UEFA European Championships before reaching the quarter-finals in the 1997 edition of the competition. However, since the beginning of the new millennium, France have become a mid-tier national team and one of the most consistent in Europe having qualified for their first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup in 2003 and reaching the quarter-finals in two of the three European Championships held since 2000. In 2011, France recorded a fourth-place finish at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup; its best finish overall at the competition. In the following year, the club captured the 2012 Cyprus Cup.
The current manager of the national team is Olivier Echouafni. He replaced Philippe Bergeroo on September 9, 2016. The current captain of the national team is 26-year-old centre back Wendie Renard.
In 1919, a women's football championship was established in France by the Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France (FSFSF). On 29 April 1920, a team led by French women's football pioneer Alice Milliat traveled to England and played its first international match against English team Dick, Kerr's Ladies. The match, held in Preston, attracted more than 25,000 spectators. France won the match 2–0 and ended its tour with two wins, one draw, and one defeat. The following year, a return match in France at the Stade Pershing in Vincennes, a suburb of Paris, took place in front of over 12,000 spectators. The match ended in a 1–1 draw. In May 1921, France returned to England for friendlies. The team won its first match 5–1, then suffered three consecutive defeats. In October 1921, the English team returned to France contesting matches in Paris and Le Havre with both matches ending in stalemates. Despite women's football in England being prohibited by The Football Association in December 1921, France continued to go there on tour for matches. A victory for the French in Plymouth was followed by 0–0 draws in Exeter and Falmouth. By 1932, the female game had been called to an end and the women's league formed in 1919 by the FSFSF was discontinued. The last match by the FSFSF international team was another scoreless draw against Belgium on 3 April 1932.
Throughout the late 1960s in France, particularly in Reims, local players worked hard to promote awareness and the acceptance of women's football. A year before getting officially sanctioned, France took part in a makeshift European Cup against England, Denmark, and Italy. The tournament was won by the Italians. The Federal Council of the French Football Federation officially reinstated women's football in 1970 and France played its first official international match on 17 April 1971 against the Netherlands in Hazebrouck. That same year, France took part in the unofficial 1971 Women's World Cup, held in Mexico. The ladies continued the pirate games, which just made it into the margins of FIFA's records, until FIFA began overseeing the competition in 1991. Since 1982, UEFA has governed the European games.
In 1975, the women's football league was officially reinstated, this time with backing from the French Football Federation, the governing body of football in France. Stade Reims was the best team in the country throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, thus constituted much of the French national squad. For the non-official World Cup in 1978 in Taiwan, the team included the entire Reims squad. The team shared the title with Finland, who never actually played the final. Due to receiving minimal support from the French Football Federation, who ultimately looked at women's football as not being highly regarded, France struggled in international competition failing to advance past the first round of qualification in both the 1984 and 1987 UEFA Women's Championship. Francis Coché, who managed the team during these failures, was later replaced by Aimé Mignot. Mignot helped the team finally get past the first round, however, in the quarterfinals, they lost to Italy, which meant they wouldn't appear at the 1989 UEFA Women's Championship. Despite the initial positives, Mignot failed to continue his success with France failing to qualify for both the 1991 and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup and losing in the first round of qualification in three straight UEFA Women's Championships. After almost a decade in charge, Mignot was replaced by former women's international Élisabeth Loisel.
With Loisel in charge, the FFF, along with then France national football team manager Aimé Jacquet, moved the women's national team to Clairefontaine, which had quickly become a high-level training facility for male football players. As a result of the move, younger women were afforded the same benefits from the facilities offered by Clairefontaine as the men. The success of female training led to the formation of the Centre National de Formation et d'Entraînement de Clairefontaine, which is now referred to as the female section of the Clairefontaine academy. Under the tutelage of Loisel, the first results appeared encouraging. They reached their first-ever Women's World Cup qualifying for the 2003 edition after defeating England over two legs in a play-off game in London and again at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. The match in Saint-Étienne attracted more than 23,000 spectators and was broadcast by the popular French broadcasting company Canal Plus. Loisel's squad later qualified for the 2005 European Championship, where they were knocked out in the group stage. She was eventually sacked after failing to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Team under Bruno BiniEdit
Loisel was replaced by former football player and now coach Bruno Bini. Bini had been in charge of several France female international youth sides before accepting the role and was tasked with the job of qualifying for UEFA Women's Euro 2009. Due to the success of the Clairefontaine project and the surprising emergence of the French women's first division, Division 1 Féminine, Bini inherited a team full of emerging, young, and influential talent, which included the likes of Camille Abily, Sonia Bompastor, Louisa Necib, Élise Bussaglia, Laura Georges, and Corine Franco. Bini was also provided with leadership from captain Sandrine Soubeyrand. Early results under Bini were extremely positive with France finishing first in their Euro qualifying group only conceded two goals. France also performed well in friendly tournaments, such as the Nordic Cup and Cyprus Cup. At UEFA Women's Euro 2009, France were inserted into the group of death, which consisted of themselves, world powerhouse Germany, no. 7 ranked Norway, and an underrated Iceland. France finished the group with 4 points, alongside Norway, with Germany leading the group. As a result of the competition's rules, all three nations qualified for the quarterfinals. In the knockout rounds, France suffered defeat to the Netherlands losing 5–4 on penalties after no goals were scored in regular time and extra time.
2011 Women's World CupEdit
Bini's next task was to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup after the disappointment of four years earlier. In the team's qualifying group, France finished the campaign scoring 50 goals and conceded none over the course of ten matches (all wins). On 16 September 2010, France qualified for the World Cup following the team's 3–2 aggregate victory over Italy.
At the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, France qualified to the knockout stage by finishing in second place in its group after wins over Nigeria and Canada, and a loss to the host team. The team went on to beat England on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, but lost to the United States in the semi-finals. France finished the competition in fourth place and earned qualification to the Olympic football tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; it was the nation's first appearance in the competition. Striker Marie-Laure Delie was the only multiple goal scorer for France in the tournament, while defenders Sonia Bompastor and Laura Georges as well as midfielder Louisa Necib were selected to the All-Star Team.
France started to develop one of their most successful era in their women's football history. In UEFA Women's Euro 2013 held in Sweden, France stood top of the group, beating both Spain, England and Russia to gain first place and earned ticket to quarter-final. However, Bergeroo's side lost to Denmark at penalty shootout, missing the chance to gain the semi-final ticket.
2015 FIFA Women's World CupEdit
In 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup held in Canada, France was listed to Pot 1, and was a favorite to become champions. France was named to Group F, alongside England, Mexico and Colombia. In the opening match against England, a goal from Eugénie Le Sommer gave France a 1–0 victory. However, France was shocked by Colombia in a 2–0 loss, making Colombia only the second Latin American team to win a Women's World Cup match. Therefore, France's third and final group stage match against Mexico was a must-win. France went on to beat Mexico 5–0 to qualify to the knockout round as top of the group.
In the knockout round, France eased past South Korea in a 3–0 win in Montreal to remain at the same location awaiting the quarter-final match against Germany. In the quarter-final match against Germany, despite dominating the majority of the match, France were unable to capitalize on their chances, which ultimately cost them the game. France were finally able to score in the 64' through Louisa Nécib, but failed to keep the lead as Célia Šašić scored on an 83rd-minute penalty kick. The score was 1–1 after 120', resulting in the match to be decided in a penalty shootout, where France's 5th penalty taken by Claire Lavogez was denied by Nadine Angerer, in which France were eliminated from the tournament losing 4–5 on penalty kicks.
- For single-match results of the women's national team, see French football single-season articles.
|1991||Did Not Qualify|
|2007||Did Not Qualify|
|1996||Did not qualify|
|No Host 1984||Did not qualify|
- *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.
Recent schedule and resultsEdit
UEFA Women's Euro 2017Edit
|22 January 2017 Friendly||France||2–0||South Africa||Saint-Denis, Réunion|
|Mbock Bathy 9', 34'||Summary||Stadium: Stade Jean-Ivoula
Referee: Teodora Albon (Romania)
|1 March 2017 2017 SheBelieves Cup||England||1–2||France||Chester, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Nobbs 32'||Report||Delie 80'
|Stadium: Talen Energy Stadium
Referee: Melissa Borjas (Honduras)
|4 March 2017 2017 SheBelieves Cup||France||0–0||Germany||Harrison, New Jersey, United States|
|Report||Stadium: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Karen Abt (United States)
|7 March 2017 2017 SheBelieves Cup||United States||0–3||France||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Report||Abily 8' (pen.), 63'
Le Sommer 10'
|Stadium: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (Canada)
|7 April 2017 Friendly||Netherlands||1–2||France||Utrecht, Netherlands|
|Martens 82'||Report||Dekker 27' (o.g.)
Le Sommer 67'
|Stadium: Stadion Galgenwaard
|18 July 2017 UEFA Women's Euro – GS||France||v||Iceland||Tilburg, Netherlands|
|Stadium: Koning Willem II Stadion
|22 July 2017 UEFA Women's Euro – GS||France||v||Austria||Utrecht, Netherlands|
|Stadium: Stadion Galgenwaard
- Caps and goals as of 01 March 2017.
Head coach: Olivier Echouafni
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Karima Benameur||13 April 1989||2||0||FCF Juvisy||v. Ukraine, 11 April 2016|
|DF||Laure Boulleau||22 October 1986||65||0||Paris Saint-Germain||v. Albania, 20 September 2016|
|DF||Kelly Gadea||22 October 1986||5||0||Olympique de Marseille||v. Norway, 26 January 2016|
|DF||Aurélie Kaci||19 December 1991||7||0||Olympique Lyonnais||v. Ukraine, 11 April 2016|
|DF||Laura Agard||26 July 1989||7||0||Montpellier HSC||v. England, 21 October 2016|
|DF||Perle Morroni||15 October 1997||0||0||Paris Saint-Germain||v. Greece, 3 June 2016|
|DF||Julie Soyer||30 June 1985||10||0||FCF Juvisy||v. Albania, 20 September 2016|
|DF||Marion Torrent||17 April 1992||0||0||Montpellier HSC||v. Greece, 3 June 2016|
|DF||Anaïg Butel||15 February 1992||9||0||FCF Juvisy||v. Spain, 26 November 2016|
|MF||Viviane Asseyi||20 November 1993||13||0||Olympique de Marseille||v. England, 9 March 2016|
|MF||Louisa Cadamuro||23 January 1987||145||36||retired||v. Canada, 12 August 2016|
|MF||Delphine Cascarino||5 February 1997||2||0||Olympique Lyonnais||v. England, 21 October 2016|
|MF||Kenza Dali||31 July 1991||19||2||Olympique Lyonnais||v. Ukraine, 11 April 2016|
|MF||Kheira Hamraoui||13 January 1990||34||3||Olympique Lyonnais||v. Spain, 26 November 2016|
|MF||Mylaine Tarrieu||3 January 1995||0||0||Olympique Lyonnais||v. Greece, 3 June 2016|
|FW||Marie-Charlotte Léger||13 January 1996||6||0||Montpellier HSC||v. Greece, 3 June 2016|
|FW||Clarisse Le Bihan||14 December 1994||12||4||Montpellier HSC||v. Spain, 26 November 2016|
Most capped French playersEdit
Top France goalscorersEdit
- As of 23 January 2017.
|Assistant manager||Peggy Provost||French|
|Assistant manager||Frédéric Née||French|
|Goalkeeper coach||Bruno Valencony||French|
|Fitness Trainer||Frédéric Aubert||French|
|Medical Doctor||Yann Fournier||French|
|Press Secretary||Laura Goutry||French|
|Logistics manager||Filipe Pires||French|
|Delegation Chief||Brigitte Henriques||French|
Overall competition recordEdit
- "FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "Tous les matchs - FFF". Fff.fr. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "France appoint Olivier Echouafni". 9 September 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
- "Bini: The truth is on the pitch". FIFA.com. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- Cyprus Cup
- France Games
- France - Calendar
- "SheBelieves Cup". fff.fr. 21 February 2017.
- Team statistics
- "Toutes les sélectionnées" (in French). Footofeminin. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Staff - FFF". Fff.fr. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "TV Rights: Women national team on D8 and D17, the League on Eurosport and France4". Foot d'Elles (in French). Eurosport. 31 January 2014.