The much-awaited Euro 2020 tournament is set to take place in June and like all other major teams, France should have a formidable squad. Manager Didier Deschamps has a huge pool of players to choose from, including fresh faces and seasoned veterans playing across European competitions, determined to bag the cup this year.
Deschamps will keep performance in mind while choosing his final 26-man squad and could surprise many by leaving high-profile players out of the team due to their recent lack of form. The reigning world champions enter the tournament as one of the favourites to win the coveted crown and with phenomenal form.
Here’s our guide to the France football team, and its chances in the tournament.
The 52-year-old former French footballer is not a stranger to the team. He led Les Bleus to victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and Euro 2000. After retiring from international football, he started his managerial career as a head coach to Monaco. With his technique and presence of mind, he guided the team to bag the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003 and also to their maiden UEFA Champions League final in 2004. After Monaco, he steered Juventus and later Marseille. He took the role of manager for France in the year 2012.
Deschamps reign at Les Blues is notable for leading France to their second FIFA World Cup title in 2018. He previously led France to the European Championship final in 2016, where they eventually lost 1-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. He is also the only third person to win a World Cup as both player and manager – behind Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.
Kylian Mbappe is just 22 years old but is surely one of the best players this decade has witnessed. He has made a special place in the hearts of international football fans with his game. Known for his dribbling, clinical finishes, and explosive speed, Mbappe is the first-choice striker for France. He has scored 16 goals in 42 appearances for his country so far.
Mbappe is already a World Cup winner and his game and dedication prove that he is planning to add European Championship to his trophy collection. With his peers Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, and Hugo Lloris, it is likely that Les Bleus might make it.
Antoine Griezmann is a versatile forward, who is always ready to strike at the goal. He is a good team player and is good at handling several offensive positions in or behind the attacking line. Because of his technical expertise, he can drop deep and link-up play between the forwards and midfielders. There are several occasions on which he has taken up the role of the lead striker for the team. Despite his small stature, he has a tremendous ability to control the ball in the air.
Griezmann was named the best player of Euro 2016, and with Kylian Mbappe at his side, it will be a difficult task to hold the duo back.
Although Giroud is capable of playing in several defensive positions, his most natural position is as a striker or a centre-forward. He is famous for his reliable goal-scoring rate, heading accuracy, powerful shot, link up and team play, and he has made himself a vital part of the team.
FORM CHECK FOR THE TEAM
France will enter the European tournament in phenomenal form.In their last 18 games, Les Blues have just lost once, in a surprise defeat to Finland. They bagged eight wins out of 10 matches played in the qualification rounds, dominating all their opponents except for Turkey. They won five matches and drew one match in the Nations League, finishing at the top of their group with 16 points from six matches.
Didier Deschamps will most likely be following a 4-3-1-2 formation, which has won them the World Cup in Russia. Hugo Lloris will be shielding the goal, defenders Raphaël Varane and Presnel Kimpembe will be defending the goal while wide areas are handled by Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernández. N’Golo Kanté will be holding the midfield with Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot. Pogba will function as the chief midfielder who not only defends against the onslaught of the opposing team but will push forward and join the attack. Olivier Giroud will be leading the line with Griezmann and Mbappé, who will play the role of tactical strikers.
CAN FRANCE WIN EURO 2020?
France made it to the final in Euro 2016, and they will be eager to make it to the full extent this time around. They have some of the best players in Europe on their team, but injuries are a concern. If Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann stay in top form, there is a significant chance of Les Blues taking home the European Championship.