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Captain Tousart on France's European champions

Published: Sunday 24 July 2016, 21.32CET
France central midfielder and captain Lucas Tousart introduces his tournament-winning team-mates, including The Rock, a (good) "serial killer" and "our little nugget".
Captain Tousart on France's European champions
Lucas Tousart celebrates his goal in the final with Amine Harit ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

The UEFA European Under-19 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.

Qualifying round
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress.

Elite round
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 26 qualifiers join the top two seeds, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.

Final tournament

The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.

Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.

Published: Sunday 24 July 2016, 21.32CET

Captain Tousart on France's European champions

France central midfielder and captain Lucas Tousart introduces his tournament-winning team-mates, including The Rock, a (good) "serial killer" and "our little nugget".

Paul Bernardoni (goalkeeper, Bordeaux)
He's been involved since the U16s, and he's got experience in Ligue 1 with Troyes and Bordeaux. Paulo is thoughtful and mature, and it's great for us to have a keeper like him to rely on.

Quentin Braat (goalkeeper, Nantes)
He's got a bright future. He's very similar to Paulo, in that they're both large, imposing figures. It's not easy to score past him!

Enock Kwateng (defender, Nantes)
He's powerful, and he's a useful asset down the right. Defensively, it's very tough to get past him.

Olivier Boscagli (defender, Nice)
He's been my room-mate since the squad came together two years ago.  He's playing left-back at the moment but I know he prefers to play in the centre. He contributes a lot going forward, but he's also solid defensively.

Jérôme Onguene (defender, Sochaux)
I've often played against him at club level, and he's also like a security guard at the back. He's hard to get the better of in a one-on-one and he's great in the air. He was suspended for the semi-final but didn't let his head drop, and he'll be back for the final.

©Panoramic

Clément Michelin: old friend

Issa Diop (defender, Toulouse)
The rock – you can't get past him! I've known him forever, because we're both originally from the same region near Toulouse. This year, he's taken a big step forward with Le Téfécé, he's played a lot of games for the first team. He's grown in maturity with that experience. He's the gatekeeper for us.

Jérémy Gelin (defender, Rennes)
He plays in the same position as me in front of the defence. He's also able to find a way through the opposition with his passing, and he's really intelligent in winning the ball back.

Clément Michelin (defender, Toulouse)
He's also from the Toulouse area, so I know him well. He's got a great cross and he's a danger from set-pieces with his balls into the area. And he has the distinction of having a very long throw!

Christ-Emmanuel Maouassa (defender, Nancy)
The baby of the group! Born in 1998, but he's already very strong defensively. I got to know him during our preparations for this tournament and he's impressed me; he's good in defence and attack down the left wing. He's been great here.

©Sportsfile

Ludovic Blas: 'A little phenomenon''

Ludovic Blas (midfielder, Guingamp)
He's a little phenomenon, who can find interesting angles for his passes with his left foot. He's an inverted winger who players on the right, so he's especially dangerous when cutting inside. Often sparks an attacking move in an instant.

Amine Harit (midfielder, Nantes)
My midfield partner, he's been one of the revelations of EURO for us. Capable of taking opponents out of the game with his speed, rhythm and passing. Our moves often go through him and then, when we get a set piece, he can deliver some real crackers.

Denis Will Poha (midfielder, Rennes)
Dennis, Amine and me form a complementary trio in the middle of the pitch. He's great at breaking up the opposition attacks and he knows how to get the ball forward quickly too. So powerful.

Jeando Fuchs (midfielder, Sochaux)
I got to know him a few months ago and he's a solid guy, always strong in the tackle and good at starting off moves himself too. Every time he's been picked, he's done the job.

©Sportsfile

Jean-Kévin Augustin: 'Serial killer' (not literally)

Jean-Kévin Augustin (forward, Paris)
He's been deadly at this EURO, a "serial killer"! Has so many qualities, starting with his power and speed. Makes great runs and every time he gets a chance, it's dangerous before his attempts are so well directed.

Florian Aye (forward, Auxerre)
He also makes good runs round the back of the opponents' defence. Tough, able to keep the ball and win it back. A complete and modern striker.

Marcus Thuram (forward, Sochaux)
We were in the U19 squad together in Greece last year so we know each other well. Fantastic in the air, you can rely on him to hold the ball up. He leads the attack, and he's astute in front of goal. We have strikers with very different profiles, a complete range, which makes life very interesting for us midfielders!

Kylian Mbappé (forward, Monaco)
You can call him the dynamite or the explosion! Another who's been a revelation at this tournament. Full of passion, his game is all about rhythm. Can eliminate an opponent with impressive ease; in a ten-metre race he could win by three metres. Defending against him is very, very tricky. He's our little nugget.

©Sportsfile

Ludovic Batelli: focused

Ludovic Batelli (coach)
We've been working together on this project for two years now, perfecting our system of play. He's really satisfied because this project is thriving, and that makes him happy. He took us in hand from the start, telling us we deserved to go to this tournament, and that created a real sense of community. That's what makes us strong.

Lucas Tousart (midfielder, Lyon)
I don't like talking about myself! I have tried to use my experience from last year [when he was in the France squad that lost to Spain in the semi-finals] and I've tried to be the bridge between the coach and the players, to ensure a good atmosphere. On the pitch, my role is to win the ball back, direct the play, fill the gaps and calm things down.

Interview by Cédric Chapuis (France Football)

Last updated: 24/07/16 23.03CET

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