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FIFA U-17 World Cup: France look to replicate European Championships form

France have only won the FIFA U-17 World Cup once and will look to replicate their impressive form in the UEFA European U-17 Championships on the world stage.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 30, 2017 15:56 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,France football team
France will be looking to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup for a second time. (Getty Images/FIFA)

France coasted to the quarter-finals of the Euro U-17 but ran aground against eventual champions Spain. France do not have an impressive record in this tournament, having played in only five of the 16 finals.

But they emerged champions in 2001 inspired by forwards Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama-Pongolle. The French, though, have had a better run in the UEFA Euro U-17, winning the championship in 2001 and in 2015.

They also finished runners-up in 2002 and 2008. This team finished fifth, aided by group stage wins against Scotland and Faroe Islands, in the 16thedition of UEFA Euro U-17, beating Hungary 1-0 to book the last European spot.

KNOW THE COACH: Lionel Rouxel

Lionel Rouxel, 47, is a former striker who played in Ligue 1 clubs such as EA Guingamp and RC Strasbourg. He took to coaching after hanging up his boots in 2002, building up considerable experience as the U-18 coach for EA Guingamp since 2006.

He took charge of the U-17 team in 2015 and built the team around his image as an attacking player. Ahead of the Euro, he said: “We subscribe to the premise that we can go far by playing good football. But you also have to be solid defensively and capable of scoring goals at any time.”

PASSAGE TO INDIA: France earned a ticket to India by finishing fifth in the 2017 UEFA Euro Under-17 championship.

Results in UEFA U-17: Lost to Hungary 3-2; bt Faroe Islands 7-0; bt Scotland 2-1 (Round 1); Lost to Spain 3-1 (Quarterfinals); bt Hungary 1-0 for fifth spot

PAST U-17 PERFORMANCE: Champions: 2001. Quarter-finals: 1987, 2007, 2011. Round of 16: 2015. Did not qualify: 1985, 89-99, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2013.

POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Amine Gouiri

Age: 17

Club: Olympique Lyonnais

Position: Forward

Why he is special: A striker with high technical skills, he has incredible pace and finishing. He was instrumental in the squad’s qualification campaign, top scoring with 8 goals in the UEFA Euro U-17. And he is French-Algerian. Sounds familiar?

Name: Maxence Caqueret

Age: 17

Club: Olympique Lyon B

Position: Midfielder

Why he is special: Captain of the French squad, he is considered to have a very mature head for his age and his performance in the midfield is crucial to France’s fortunes.

Name: Yacine Adli

Age: 17

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Position: Forward

Why he is special: He is considered one of the best products of the Paris Saint-Germain academy and combines well with Amine. He is already with PSG’s U-19 side.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 17:03 IST