Women's Euro 2022

France Euro 2022 team guide: key players, route to final, tournament history & more

Jamie Spencer
France Euro 2022 team guide
France Euro 2022 team guide / 90min

France have often underachieved at major international tournaments in recent years. That is despite being usually very highly rated each time they go to a European Championship or World Cup.

The way they are seen this time is no different, going into Euro 2022 this summer as the third highest ranked team in the world and second in Europe. However, things in the past haven't quite turned out as expected on paper, with France often the great underachievers.

Yet Euro 2022 will also be something of a new-look France that will hope to shatter past shortcomings.

France Women's Euro 2022 qualifying record

Overall, France made relatively light work of qualifying, topping Group G ahead of Austria. They won seven of their eight games, only dropping points with a 0-0 draw away in Austria on matchday six.

France scored 44 goals across their eight qualifiers and kept eight clean sheets to boot.

France Women's team tournament history

France did not appear at a major tournament for the first time since until 1997 and, even then, didn't reach the knockout rounds until 2009. The furthest the French have ever been at any European Championships is the quarter-finals.

Euro 1984: Did not qualify
Euro 1987: Did not qualify
Euro 1989: Did not qualify
Euro 1991: Did not qualify
Euro 1993: Did not qualify
Euro 1995: Did not qualify
Euro 1997: Group stage
Euro 2001: Group stage
Euro 2005: Group stage
Euro 2009: Quarter-finals
Euro 2013: Quarter-finals
Euro 2017: Quarter-finals

Only in the last 11 years have France been a regular presence at the World Cup. They went as far as the semi-finals in 2011 and ultimately finished fourth.

1991 World Cup: Did not qualify
1995 World Cup: Did not qualify
1999 World Cup: Did not qualify
2003 World Cup: Group stage
2007 World Cup: Did not qualify
2011 World Cup: Fourth place
2015 World Cup: Quarter finals
2019 World Cup: Quarter finals

France Women's football team players - key player & one to watch

Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a prolific striker of the highest order, with the kind of ruthless streak that has the potential to change any game in an instant. She is only 23 and has scored almost a goal per game for France since her debut in 2018.

At club level for Paris Saint-Germain, she has netted an astonishing 137 goals in all competitions in the last five seasons, and is already the club's all-time top scorer. She will be among the favourites for the golden boot at Euro 2022.

France have a number of emerging stars in their ranks, including forwards Melvine Malard and Sandy Baltimore, but keep an eye on full-back Selma Bacha. Dogged defensively with a wicked left footed delivery, the defender was a key part of Lyon's return to the pinnacle of European club football and her rise has also coincided with club-mate Amel Majri taking time away from the game to have a baby.

France Women's football team manager

France have been led by national team legend Corinne Diacre since 2017. She played more than 120 times for her country during her own international career that spanned from 1993 to 2005 and was then an assistant coach within the setup from 2007 until 2013.

Diacre stepped into club football to manage Soyaux, the team she spent 19 years with as a player. She was subsequently appointed by men's club Clermont Foot and was in charge for three years, before returning to the women's game to take the France job.

Diacre's coaching career has been marred by controversies, which have primarily focused around falling out with players. Most notably has been a long-running feud with Amandine Henry, while there have been issues with Wendie Renard, Eugenie Le Sommer and Sarah Bouhaddi. Diacre was even accused of running a dictatorship and threatening players while at Clermont.

Did you know...

With Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer not selected, and Sarah Bouhaddi retiring in 2020 citing Corinne Diacre's management as the problem, France are suddenly without over 400 caps' worth of top level international experience.

There is still experience in the squad, but only three players out of the 23 have played more than 50 times for Les Bleues. Most don't have more than one major international tournament under their belt, while Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sandy Baltimore, Melvine Malard, Clara Mateo, Ella Palis and Ouleymata Sarr are going to their first senior tournament.

Women's Euro 2022 France fixtures & route to the Euro 2022 final

France vs Italy

Date & time: Sunday 10 July, 20:00 (BST)
Venue: New York Stadium
How to watch on TV: BBC Two (UK)

France vs Belgium

Date & time: Thursday 14 July, 20:00 (BST)
Venue: New York Stadium
How to watch on TV: BBC One (UK)

Iceland vs France

Date & time: Monday 18 July, 20:00 (BST)
Venue: New York Stadium
How to watch on TV: BBC Two (UK)

France would be expected to top Group D and qualify for the knockout rounds as group winners. That means a quarter-final against the runner-up of Group C, which is likely to be tough whichever way it falls because that means Sweden or Netherlands. That path might then mean a semi-final against Germany or Norway is everything goes as expected.

The other path would still be a quarter-final against Sweden or Netherlands depending on how Group C pans out. But the semi on that side is more likely to be against Spain or England.

France Women's Euro 2022 squad

Goalkeepers: Mylene Chavas (Bordeaux), Justine Lerond (Metz), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Juventus).

Defenders: Selma Bacha (Lyon), Hawa Cissoko (West Ham), Sakina Karchaoui (PSG), Griedge Mbock (Lyon), Eve Perisset (Chelsea), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Marion Torrent (Montpellier), Aïssatou Tounkara (Atletico Madrid).

Midfielders: Charlotte Bilbault (Bordeaux), Kenza Dali (Everton), Grace Geyoro (PSG), Ella Palis (Bordeaux), Sandie Toletti (Levante).

Forwards: Sandy Baltimore (PSG), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Kadidiatou Diani (PSG), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG) , Melvine Malard (Lyon), Clara Matéo (Paris FC), Ouleymata Sarr (Paris FC).

Predicted finish - Quarter-finals

France have a habit of underperforming on the international stage, always reaching the quarter-finals at each of their last four tournaments but failing to get any further every time. Things could be different this time because of an emerging generation of players, but France might end up being underdogs in whichever quarter-final they face, and that puts them at a disadvantage.

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