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2022 U17 EURO: Meet the final coaches

UEFA.com sat down with the tacticians who have plotted their nations' path through to Wednesday's 2022 U17 EURO final in Israel.

Netherlands coach Mischa Visser (right) and his France counterpart José Alcocer (left) have guided their sides through to the 2022 UEFA U17 EURO final.
Netherlands coach Mischa Visser (right) and his France counterpart José Alcocer (left) have guided their sides through to the 2022 UEFA U17 EURO final. UEFA

France will face holders the Netherlands in the 2022 UEFA European Under-17 Championship final on Wednesday – UEFA.com invites you to meet the men charged with orchestrating their nations' EURO challenge in Israel.

José Alcocer, France

Born in Corsica, the 49-year-old has been part of the French Football Federation coaching set-up since becoming U21 assistant coach to Willy Sagnol in 2013. After five years, he took charge of the U18 team and then – a year later – the U16s. He has moved with that generation into the U17 category.

On his approach to his job
"What I like is to see a player that has potential and qualities, and to accompany him to exploit his potential. They have potential, but sometimes it's difficult for them to express it. My job is to bring out the great player that's inside of them, and sometimes I have to pull very hard, and other times I just need to be there with them. Each player is different. What I like is to help them become the great players they should become."

Highlights: France keep cool to clinch semi-final spot

Beating Germany on penalties
"I was quite calm. I don't know why. I said to the guys, 'In football, it's never finished until it's finished'. Our goalkeeper did what was needed, the other players did what was needed but at 2-0 [on spot kicks], I knew it was going to be very difficult. But football is incredible; you have to go right to the end."

On his pre-final team talk
"To play their game, to stay true to themselves, and do what they have done from the start: play with intensity, have an impact in the game. We've played the same way from the first game, and we won't change anything. We keep going forward."

Highlights: France reach final after 2nd shoot-out success

On preparing his team for penalty shoot-outs
"For the last three weeks, all our games have been based on penalties. Every time a player scored a goal, they had to take a penalty, either to confirm the goal scored or add an extra point. I followed the advice of previous coaches who told me that it's something not to be neglected, and you have to work on it. You have to work on it in a particular context, and I think the players have gained in confidence through working on it, and winning two shoot-outs has given their self-belief a big boost."

U17 EURO final: France vs Netherlands

Mischa Visser, Netherlands

Coaxed into coaching at the age of 15 by his father – a trainer at a local team – Visser obtained his UEFA Pro Licence and started teaching at the University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. After becoming a Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) lecturer, he worked as the Netherlands' U16 and U18 coach before taking over as U17 boss in 2020.

Highlights: Holders see off Italy to reach semis

On the Netherlands' U17 success
"There's no secret for success. It's about the strength of the clubs in the Netherlands, about their philosophy, and development and identification of talent. We have the players for a short time, we aim to bring them together to perform. It's a very big compliment for the work of the clubs in our country."

On his team's late goals
"That's one of the things we're most proud of. We don't stress if it doesn't go as we want, and that's very good. We talk a lot to the players about just following the game plan. If there's any stress, you have your game plan, and that works for us."

On his football philosophy

Highlights: Netherlands defeat Serbia to grab final spot

"We want to dominate. We look at our opponent's strengths and weaknesses. We want to eliminate the opponents' strengths and play to our own strengths. That's what Johann Cruyff was always thinking about: 'How can I make the opponent look weak? How can we show the best version of ourselves?' That was in Johann Cruyff's DNA, it's in Dutch football's DNA and it's also in my DNA as a head coach of this team."

On working with the U17 team
"Our whole staff, we are all educators, and we want to make the dream of the players happen, to become a pro. We know very well what is necessary to become a pro footballer; training and playing matches are just a small part of what you have to do well. It's not only the head coach or the teacher educating the players, we all do that. That's awesome for me."