Having won the World Cup in emphatic fashion three years ago, France are one of the pre-tournament favourites to clinch Euro 2020 glory this summer and match the feat this squad’s previous generation achieved two decades ago.
The last time France won a World Cup – in 1998 – they went on victory at Euro 2000 as well. Twenty-one years on and Les Bleus are on the cusp of completing a remarkable cycle for manager Didier Deschamps, who as a player captained the side to those two previous trophies.
France have arguably the most exciting national squad on the planet. In Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele they have raw attacking talent. Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Thomas Lemar marshal the midfield, while Kurt Zouma, Raphael Varane and Benjamin Pavard offer a dependable defensive presence.
What’s more, the experience of Olivier Giroud, Hugo Lloris, Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko means this French squad is in safe hands. How far can they go? We’ll have to wait and see.
RadioTimes.com brings you the full France team guide for this year’s tournament, including Euro 2020 fixtures, the squad, key players and more.
When are France playing next?
France’s first fixture at Euro 2020 will see them face Germany in a huge clash in Group F on Tuesday 15th June 2021.
The match kicks off at 8pm (UK time) and will be shown live on ITV and online on the ITV Hub.
Munich’s Allianz Arena will host the game, meaning France must get a result in Germany’s back yard.
Tuesday 15th June
Game 1 – Group F: France v Germany (8pm)
Saturday 19th June
Game 2 – Group F: Hungary v France (2pm)
Wednesday 23rd June
Game 3 – Group F: Portugal v France (8pm)
Check out when and where every game is available to watch with our Euro 2020 on TV guide.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Milan)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Léo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris), Jules Koundé (Sevilla), Clément Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Atlético Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern), Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappé (Paris), Marcus Thuram (Mönchengladbach)
Deschamps played over 100 games for France and won the World Cup and European Championship during his career before going on to steer the national team to World Cup glory as a manager in 2018. But the boss has unfinished business in the Euros.
Five years ago, France lost to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016 on their home turf in Paris. It was a chastening defeat considering Deschamps had been in position since 2012 with the express goal to win that home tournament. Still, five years on and France have never looked better. The squad plays for the boss and Deschamps is often happy to sit back and watch them play.
France key player
Mbappe and Griezmann both have a chance of being top scorer at the Euros this summer but neither would get close to goal without the presence of Kante. The Chelsea midfielder remains France’s most influential player. He thrives sitting in front of the back four closing down opposition attacks before triggering counters.
Kante is a smart, communicative player despite his shy personality. He can be relied upon to run the hard yards and also get forward when required. His presence gives other players the freedom and confidence to take risks – and that’s exactly what aided Chelsea in the Champions League this summer, and France in their World Cup success three years ago.
England may be pre-tournament favourites with the bookies to win Euro 2020 but France are in reality the team to beat. Deschamps’ squad is physically at its peak and came through tests against both Croatia and Portugal last autumn.
A big issue for Les Bleus is their group, which sees them pitted against Hungary, Portugal and Germany. But of the three ‘big’ teams in the ‘Group of Death’ it is France who are expected to grab top spot.
Winning Group F would see France move into the top half of the knockout bracket and likely avoid the likes of England and Spain. It may be that they meet Croatia in the quarter-finals, after which Deschamps’ men will look to make Wembley their home.
Prediction: Euro 2020 winners
Who will win Euro 2020? Check out our full predictions as we rank and rate all 24 teams.