|Nickname(s)||Les Bleuets (The Little Blues) |
Les Espoirs (The Hopes)
|Association||French Football Federation|
|Head coach||Sylvain Ripoll|
|Most caps||Mickaël Landreau (43)|
|Top scorer||Odsonne Édouard (17)|
|U23: France 0–0 Norway |
(Alès, France; 11 November 1970)
U21: France 1–1 Belgium
(Amiens, France; 3 September 1976)
| France 7–0 Yugoslavia |
(Reims, France; 16 November 1985)
| England 6–0 France |
(Sheffield, England; 28 February 1984)
|UEFA U-21 Championship|
|Appearances||8 (first in 1982 )|
|Best result||Winners (1988)|
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.
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.Blanc was named the tournament's Golden Player. 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.
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.
France's under-21 football friendlies and qualifying matches are broadcast by Direct 8.
Win Draw Lose Fixture
|4 September 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2||Georgia||0–2||France||Gori, Georgia|
|19:00||Stadium: Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium |
Referee: Duje Strukan (Croatia)
|7 September 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2||Azerbaijan||1–2||France||Sumgait, Azerbaijan|
|19:00||Stadium: Kapital Bank Arena |
Referee: Halis Özkahya (Turkey)
|8 October 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2||France||5–0||Liechtenstein||Strasbourg, France|
|21:00||Stadium: Stade de la Meinau |
Referee: Ian McNabb (Northern Ireland)
|12 October 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2||France||1–0||Slovakia||Strasbourg, France|
|21:00||Stadium: Stade de la Meinau |
Referee: Miloš Djordjic (Serbia)
|12 November 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 2||Liechtenstein||0–5||France||Vaduz, Liechtenstein|
|20:45||Stadium: Rheinpark Stadion |
Referee: Morten Krogh (Denmark)
|28 March 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group C||France||0–1||Denmark||Szombathely, Hungary|
|21:00||Stadium: Haladás Sportkomplexum |
Referee: Irfan Peljto (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
|28 March 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group C||Russia||0–2||France||Szombathely, Hungary|
|21:00||Stadium: Haladás Sportkomplexum |
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández (Spain)
|31 March 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group C||Iceland||0–2||France||Győr, Hungary|
|18:00||Stadium: Ménfői úti Stadion |
Referee: Lawrence Visser (Belgium)
|31 May 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship QF||Netherlands||2–1||France||Budapest, Hungary|
|18:00||Stadium: Bozsik Aréna |
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy)
|2 September 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group H||France||3–0||North Macedonia||Le Mans, France|
|18:30||Stadium: MMArena |
Referee: Juri Frischer (Estonia)
|6 September 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group H||Faroe Islands||1–1||France||Toftir, Faroe Islands|
|18:30||Stadium: Tofta Leikvøllur |
Referee: Volen Chinkov (Belarus)
|Assistant manager||Patrice Gonfalone||French|
|Assistant manager||José Alcocer||French|
|Goalkeeping coach||Sylvain Matrisciano||French|
For the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons, including the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, players born on or after 1 January 2000 are eligible.
The following 23 players have been called up for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against North Macedonia on 2 September 2021 and Faroe Islands on 6 September 2021.
Note: Names in italics denote players that have been capped by the senior team.
Caps and goals as of 6 September 2021, after the team's match against Faroe Islands.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Illan Meslier||2 March 2000||3||0||Leeds United|
|GK||Stefan Bajić||23 December 2001||0||0||Saint-Étienne|
|GK||Guillaume Dietsch||17 April 2001||0||0||Seraing|
|DF||Benoît Badiashile||26 March 2001||8||0||Monaco|
|DF||Adrien Truffert||20 January 2001||6||0||Rennes|
|DF||Pierre Kalulu||5 June 2000||3||1||Milan|
|DF||Andy Pelmard||12 March 2000||2||0||Basel|
|DF||Melvin Bard||6 November 2000||3||0||Nice|
|DF||William Saliba||24 March 2001||1||0||Marseille|
|DF||Loïc Badé||11 April 2000||1||0||Rennes|
|MF||Maxence Caqueret||15 February 2000||7||0||Lyon|
|MF||Eduardo Camavinga||10 November 2002||6||1||Real Madrid|
|MF||Khéphren Thuram||26 March 2001||2||0||Nice|
|MF||Sofiane Diop||9 June 2000||2||0||Monaco|
|MF||Enzo Le Fée||3 February 2000||1||0||Lorient|
|MF||Joris Chotard||24 September 2001||0||0||Montpellier|
|FW||Amine Gouiri||16 February 2000||14||5||Nice|
|FW||Arnaud Kalimuendo||20 January 2002||3||0||Lens|
|FW||Nathanaël Mbuku||16 March 2002||2||1||Reims|
|FW||Mohamed-Ali Cho||19 January 2004||2||0||Angers|
|FW||Sékou Mara||30 July 2002||2||0||Bordeaux|
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|
|DF||Wesley Fofana||17 December 2000||3||0||Leicester City||v. Denmark, 25 March 2021 INJ|
|DF||Rayan Aït-Nouri||6 June 2001||5||0||Wolverhampton Wanderers||v. Liechtenstein, 12 November 2020 INJ|
|DF||Bafodé Diakité||6 January 2001||0||0||Toulouse||v. Slovakia, 12 October 2020|
|MF||Aurélien Tchouaméni||27 January 2000||4||0||Monaco||2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship|
|FW||Isaac Lihadji||10 April 2002||2||1||Lille||v. Switzerland, 16 November 2020|
|FW||Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe||21 November 2000||1||0||Dijon||v. Azerbaijan, 7 September 2020|
|1978||Did not qualify||4||0||1||3||4||6|
|1990||Did not qualify||6||3||2||1||11||7|
|1998||Did not qualify||8||4||3||1||13||8|
|2004||Did not qualify||10||8||1||1||20||7|
|2007||Did not qualify||4||2||1||1||6||3|
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