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Women's EURO team guide: France

Les Bleues were unbreachable in qualifying but can they end their quarter-final curse this summer?

Group D fixtures

Sunday 10 July
France vs Italy (21:00, Rotherham)

Thursday 14 July
France vs Belgium (21:00, Rotherham)

Monday 18 July
Iceland vs France (21:00, Rotherham)

Women's EURO 2022 schedule

How they qualified: Group G winners (P8 W7 D1 L0 F44 A0)
Women's EURO best
: Quarter-finals (2009, 2013, 2017)
Women's EURO 2017
: Quarter-finals

Great France Women's EURO goals
Great France Women's EURO goals

Key player: Wendie Renard

A towering presence at the heart of Les Bleues' defence, captain Renard boasts 126 caps and makes her height count at both ends of the pitch, with 29 goals for France. Her experience and commanding energy are key elements for the team.

One to watch: Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Marie-Antoinette Katoto
Marie-Antoinette KatotoUEFA via Getty Images

A lightning-fast and skillful dribbler, the young Paris Saint-Germain forward has shown incredible efficiency in a France shirt with 19 goals in only 23 caps.

Coach: Corinne Diacre

France's former captain and most-capped player (121), Diacre was the centre-back who secured her place in history by scoring the decisive goal against England in the play-offs to send Les Bleues to their first ever FIFA Women's World Cup finals in 2003. She started her coaching career with six years at ASJ Joyaux, the club where she spent all her playing career, at the same time also working as one of Bruno Bini's assistants for the French national team.

Diacre managed Ligue 2 outfit Clermont Foot between 2014 and 2017, leaving to take up her current role after Olivier Echouafni left following another quarter-final exit at Women's EURO 2017.

Women's EURO 2022: All you need to know

Tactics

Defensive solidity and offensive explosiveness are the main qualities of Diacre's outfit. Les Bleues have a backbone of Paris and Lyon players and are organised in a 4-3-3 formation, relying on speed down the flanks. Kadidiatou Diani (Paris), Viviane Asseyi (Bayern) and Delphine Cascarino (Lyon) provide the pace, revolving around an essential pivot in Katoto (Paris).

Pedigree

2005 highlights: France 3-1 Italy
2005 highlights: France 3-1 Italy

Diacre's biggest challenge is undoubtedly trying to break the 'quarter-final hoodoo'. Despite often being considered one of European football's powerhouses, Les Bleues were eliminated in the last eight in their previous three Women's EURO finals, two World Cups and in their last Olympics in 2016.

In fact, France have only ever won two knockout games in major competitions, on penalties against England at the 2011 World Cup in Germany and 2-1 versus Sweden at the 2012 Olympics in London, but even then they suffered defeat in the semi-finals of both tournaments.

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