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Women’s Euro 2022 team guide: France among the favourites but must end quarter-final curse

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 29/06/2022 Malik Ouzia

After disappointing at their own World Cup in 2019, France will be hoping to end their major tournament drought as they make the short trip across the Channel for this summer’s Women’s European Championships in England.

French sides are back on top in the European club game after Lyon dethroned Barcelona in last season’s Champions League final, but can the national team follow suit?

Here’s our guide to France...

Tournament record

Best finish: Quarter-final (2009, 2013, 2017)

It took France seven attempts to qualify for their first Euros but they have been ever-present since, though without ever going beyond the last eight. They did reach the World Cup semi-final back in 2011, but fell to eventual winners USA in the quarter-finals when hosting the same tournament three years ago.

The coach: Corrine Diacre

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (AFP via Getty Images)

Former France captain shot to wider prominence as a coach back in 2014 when she made global headlines as the first female manager of a men’s professional team in France, taking over at Clermont, before returning to the women’s game as national team boss three years later.

The 47-year-old has seldom been afraid to make controversial decisions during her reign and has served up another on the eve of the Euros in leaving Lyon star Amandine Henry out of her squad off the back of her player of the match display in the Champions League final.

Key player: Marie-Antoinette Katoto

 (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard (AFP via Getty Images)

One of those controversial calls from Diacre came in leaving Katoto out of the last World Cup despite her being the French league’s top scorer but there was no chance of that error being repeated.

The 23-year-old is already Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time leading goalscorer but is out of contract this summer and has no shortage of suitors.

Form

France did not concede a single goal in qualifying for this tournament, winning seven and drawing one of their eight group games. Since April last year, their only defeat has come against world champions USA, with statement victories over England, Netherlands, Brazil and Germany in that time.

Squad

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

Defenders: Selma Bacha (Lyon), Hawa Cissoko (West Ham), Sakina Karchaoui (Paris Saint-Germain), Griedge Mbock Bathy (Lyon), Eve Perisset (Bordeaux), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Marion Torrent (Montpellier), Aissatou Tounkara (Atletico Madrid).

Midfielders: Charlotte Bilbault (Bordeaux), Kenza Dali (Everton), Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain), Ella Palis (Bordeaux), Sandie Toletti (Levante).

Forwards: Sandy Baltimore (Paris Saint-Germain), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain), Melvine Mallard (Lyon), Clara Mateo (Paris FC), Ouleymata Sarr (Paris FC).

Group stage fixtures

  • July 11 - Italy (Rotherham - 8pm)
  • July 14 - Belgium (Rotherham - 8pm)
  • July 18 - Iceland (Rotherham - 8pm)

You can follow the Women’s Euros across Standard Sport this summer!

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