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France Olympics 2020 Squad Profile: France U23 Men's Football Team

France head coach Sylvain Ripoli called his 22 man squad for the summer's tournament set to take place on 22nd July. Check out the France U23 olympics football squad for the Tokyo olympics 2020.

Last updated: 17.07.2021
france u23 mens football team olympics 2021

France head coach Sylvain Ripoli called his 22 man squad for the summer's tournament set to take place on 22nd July. France U23 have also faced restriction from clubs in letting their players to join the Games amidst a congested schedule leading up to the new campaign. 


France reached the finals of the 1900 Olympics taking place in their capital city, Paris and had to wait till the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles to earn the gold medal.  Les Bleus haven't reached the stage since that 2-0 win over Brazil in their last final appearance. 

France U23 Men's Football Team Squad :

Goalkeepers: Paul Bernardoni (Angers), Stefan Bajic (Saint Etienne), Dimitry Bertaud (Montpellier).

Defenders: Melvin Bard (Lyon), Anthony Caci (Strasbourg), Ismael Doukoure (Valenciennes), Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan) Clement Michelin (RC Lens), Timothee Pembele (Paris Saint-Germain), Modibo Sagnan (Real Sociedad). 

Midfielders: Alexis Beka Beka (SM Caen), Jeremy Gelin (Stade Rennais), Enzo Le Fee (FC Lorient), Teji Savanier (Montpellier), Florian Thauvin (Tigres), Lucas Tousart (Hertha Berlin).

Forwards: Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Randal Kolo Muani (Nantes), Arnaud Nordin (Saint Etienne), Isaac Lihadji (Lille), Nathaniel Mbuku (Stade Reims).

Eduardo Camavinga of Stade Rennais, Chelsea defender Malang Sarr, Arsenal's William Saliba, Maxence Caqueret of Lyon and Nice's Amine Gouiri were not included in the final squad because of their club's restriction from featuring for the Games. French star Kylian Mbappe has been left out completely because of his participation in the European Championship. Florian Thauvin, Gignac and youngster Kalulu are the only ones in the squad not associated with Ligue 1,  France's domestic league. 

Key Player: Florian Thauvin 

Florian Thauvin has been in the football circuit for almost a decade yet he's still in his prime. After a lifelong stay at Marseille, the 28 year old travelled to Mexico to play for Tigres two months ago. On his days, Thauvin is a beautiful footballer to watch filled with flare, outstanding ball control and hammering goals in needy times. He was once dubbed as one of the brightest talent from France. The left footed winger was called up only twice for a major event for the French national team before the 2020 Olympics. Thauvin played an integral role in France triumph at the U20 FIFA World Cup in 2013 and made it to the senior World Cup winning squad of 2018. So, his experience and brilliance in the world will motivate this young side to try reaching for the gold in the final. This may provide another upbeat for Thauvin's career. 

Prospect to watch: Timothee Pembele 

France is an industry of producing world class talents. Very few nations can match the flurry of future stars coming out of the country's academy or from the clubs. Talking about clubs, money merchant Paris Saint Germain not only secure benefits from high voltage transfer but also investing in academies. French stars like Kingsley Coman, Presnel Kimpembe, Adrien Rabiot etc, members of the senior team has progressed through PSG academy. One such glowing talent is 18 year old center back Timothee Pembele in the 2020 Olympics squad. He made his debut for PSG last season and scored a goal in three starts. But it is Pembele's mature performance at the back that makes him a promising talent. He is good on the ball, an excellent passer, dribbler and drive his team forward along with the guard of his position. This makes him a prospect to watch for in the Olympics. 


Over the age of 23: Teji Savanier (29),  Florian Thauvin (28), Andre-Pierre Gignac (35)

The second oldest player among the overages in the tournament is Andre-Pierre Gignac. Like another age played in the group in Thauvin, Gignac plays for Tigres in Liga MX. Since his transfer to the club in 2015 from Marseille, Gignac has showcased his ferocious scoring nature. The striker has scored 149 goals in 261 appearances for the Mexican outfit so far and is happy to carry that nature in the Games now. The other included player over the age limit is Teji Savanier. The 29 year old was a pillar in the midfield granting Montpellier the eight spot in the Ligue 1 table last season. He completed 74% of his passes, succeeded in 33 tackles and created 68 chances. Savanier is a key component in the French midfield. 

France Football Team Olympics 2021 Profile :

Without the exceptionally talented players like Eduardo Camavinga, Amine Gouri and the rest recognisable performer not joining the squad, France looks a little bit withered. They are reliant on seniority this time. Tigres attacking duo of Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin are set to provide the necessary experience for the team also being an out and out goal source. Montpellier Teji Savanier had a brilliant club season last term and will transcend his speciality in the midfield for his nation at the Games. There are a few talents that can make the difference. The prominent one is Pierre Kalulu of AC Milan. The right-back capable of playing as a central defender has slotted in perfectly to replace injured stars for Milan and has hardly put a foot wrong. It is left to see whether the mixture of experience and talent sprout decisive results at the Games. 

Fixtures & Probability 

1) Mexico U23 vs France U23 - July 22, Thursday (Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo) 

2) France U23 vs South Africa U23 - July 25, Sunday (Saitama Stadium, Saitama)

3)  France U23 vs Japan U23 - July 28, Wednesday (Nissan Stadium, Yokohama) 

France has an easier group than others to relish their chances to qualify for the quarterfinals. That being said, any complacent nature is stepping on the banana skin. Mexico and Japan are two opposition capable enough to trouble the French side, possibly derailing them from their expectation level. It is a fact that Les Bleus doesn't have the best of squads for a grand tournament like the Olympics but it should be competitive enough to escape the group stages at least. Any other outcome is an obvious disappointment. The winners of Group A will face the nation finishing in runners-up spot in Group B and the table toppers of that group will face the second-placed side in Group A. If France makes it to the quarterfinal, it is a good chance they make it to the semis as well considering their opposition on the road. 

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