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With Kylian Mbappe potentially leading the way, France looks to the summer with Euro 2024 and the Olympics



With Kylian Mbappe potentially leading the way, France looks to the summer with Euro 2024 and the Olympics

France enter this summer as pre-tournament favorites for not only UEFA Euro 2024, but also for men’s football at the Olympic Games. Les Bleus’ talent pool is packed with established top players and prospects and no team heading to Germany will be considered stronger – at least on paper. A look at Didier Deschamps’ Euro squad and Thierry Henry’s Olympic Games group underlines the staggering amount of talent currently available to French teams.

New Real Madrid signing Kylian Mbappe will captain France as they start their campaign in a winning Group D against Austria, Netherlands and Poland, with kick-off on Monday. However, the French superstar also hopes to rule his country on home soil later in the summer with a chance of winning Olympic gold.

Mbappe’s future may be settled and Deschamps knows Olivier Giroud is following ex-captain Hugo Lloris and Raphael Varane into international retirement, but is this his own last dance? Speculation has increased recently even though he is under contract until the FIFA 2026 World Cup, which is co-hosted by Mexico, Canada and the US.

We look at what we can expect from France during both summer tournaments.

Euro 2024

Les Bleus are favorites for this summer’s European title with a fully strong squad, apart from Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Hernandez, who was very unlucky to be injured so late in the season. A group with Austria, Netherlands and Poland has little fear for Deschamps’ team, who normally progress in these tournaments, but it will be interesting to see the new team dynamics. Gone are former cornerstones Lloris and Varane, with Mbappé introducing a different leadership approach and new senior figures emerging, such as Adrien Rabiot behind Antoine Griezmann.

It’s quite astonishing when you look at the quality of players with 15 caps or less who weren’t picked this summer. Chelsea’s Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi, Malo Gusto and Wesley Fofana, Aston Villa’s Moussa Diaby and Boubacar Kamara, OGC Nice’s Khephren Thuram and Jean-Clair Todibo, as well as SS Lazio’s Matteo Guendouzi and RB Leipzig’s Castello Lukeba are a lot of untapped talent.


Some names originally appeared in both the Euro and Olympic conversations, but Henry has done his job after a wave of early rejections. The main topic of discussion is Mbappe’s non-selection – for now – but one extra spot will be saved if Real allow him to participate. The Spanish giants could offer an alternative with Aurelien Tchouameni’s Euros potentially in jeopardy due to injury, but France’s priority remains Mbappe.

PSG have blocked Warren Zaire-Emery and Bradley Barcola, while Lille OSC have withdrawn Lucas Chevalier, Leny Yoro and Bafode Diakite and Bayern Munich have also blocked Mathys Tel. With Alexandre Lacazette and Jean-Philippe Mateta as the two oversized players (for now), this illustrates the challenges Henry faces in living up to the host’s favorite tag. Olympique Lyonnais’ surprise over Lacazette’s selection suggests other clubs are lining up to also make things harder for him with further rejections.

French market

All this against a backdrop of huge uncertainty at club level, with professional football – Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 – thrown into doubt by the lack of a television rights deal from next season. Suddenly this means that few French clubs – even PSG – can’t really sign new players at the moment due to their precarious finances, suddenly creating a great opportunity for foreign clubs to shop in France and get excellent value for money. the clubs are fighting to keep their heads above water and hoping for a financial miracle solution. French clubs export talent better than most other clubs but the idea was to turn the tide and keep more domestic products in the domestic game to improve its value, but the opposite could happen and a successful European Championship and Olympic Games would only attract more vultures. this undesirable situation.