France women's national football team: Wikis

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France
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Les Bleues
(The Blues)
Association French Football Federation
(Fédération Française de Football, FFF)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach France Bruno Bini (2007–)
Captain Sandrine Soubeyrand
Most caps Sandrine Soubeyrand (144)
Top scorer Marinette Pichon (81)
FIFA code FRA
FIFA ranking 9[1]
Highest FIFA ranking 5[1] (March 2005)
Lowest FIFA ranking 10[1] (September 2009)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
England England 0–2 France France
(Manchester, England; October 1920)
Biggest win
France France 14–0 Algeria Algeria
(Cesson, France; 14 May 1998)
Biggest defeat
United States United States 8–0 France France
(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; 29 April 1996)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2003)
Best result 1st Round, 2003
Olympic Games
Appearances None
Best result N/A
European Championship
Appearances 4 (First in 1997)
Best result Quarter-finalists, 2009

The French women's national football team represents France in international women's football. The team is directed by the French Football Federation (FFF) competes as a member of UEFA in various international football tournaments such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, UEFA Women's Euro, the Summer Olympics, and the Algarve Cup.

The France women's national team initially struggled on the international stage failing to qualify for three of the first FIFA Women's World Cups and faltering in the first round in five of the first six official UEFA European Championships before reaching the quarter-finals in the 1997 edition of the competition. However, since the beginning of the new millennium, France have become a mid-tier national team and one of the most consistent in Europe having qualified for their first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup in 2003 and reaching the quarter-finals in two of the three European Championships held since 2000.

The current manager of the national team is Bruno Bini. Bini is a former player and has managed all levels of French international women's football beginning with the under-16 team in 1993. He has been in charge of the team since February 2007 when he replaced Elisabeth Loisel following her failure to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The current captain of the national team is 36-year old midfielder Sandrine Soubeyrand. On 29 October 2009, Soubeyrand earned her record 143rd career international cap in a match against Estonia. The achievement surpassed French men's international defender Lilian Thuram as the nation's most capped football player. [2]

As of December 2009, France is ranked No. 9 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

Contents

History of the Blues

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Beginnings

In 1919, a women's football championship was established in France by the Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France. On 29 April 1920, a team led by French women's football pioneer Alice Milliat traveled to England and played its first international match against English team, Dick, Kerr's Ladies. The game, held in Preston, attracted more than 25,000 spectators. France lost the match 0–2. France later played Dick, Kerr Ladies in France at the Stade Pershing in Vincennes, a suburbia of Paris, in front of over 12,000 spectators. The return match ended in a 1–1 draw. In May 1921, France ventured to England for the second time for friendlies. They won their first match 5–1, but then suffered 3 consecutive defeats. In October 1921, the English team returned to France contesting matches in Paris and Le Havre with both matches ending in stalemates.

Despite the prohibition of women's football by The Football Association, games continued in England. A victory for the French in Plymouth was followed by 0–0 draws in Exeter and Falmouth. By 1932, the female game had been called to an end and the women's league formed in 1919 by the FSFSF was discontinued. The last match by the FSFSF international team was another scoreless draw against the Belgium on April 3 1932.

Rebellion years (1968-1985)

Throughout the late 1960s in France, particularly in Reims, local players worked hard to promote awareness and acceptance of women's football. A year before getting official sanction, France took part in a makeshift European Cup against England, Denmark and Italy, won by the Italians. Women's football was officially reinstated in 1970 and players organized an unofficial World Cup, won by Denmark. France did not participate in that cup, but took part in the unofficial 1971 edition, held in Mexico. The ladies continued the pirate games, which just made it into the margins of FIFA's records, until FIFA began overseeing the competition in 1991. Since 1982, UEFA has governed the European games.

In 1975, the women's football league was officially reinstated, this time with backing from the French Football Federation, the governing body of football in France. Stade Reims was the best team in the country throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, thus constituted much of the French national squad. For the non-official World Cup in 1978 in Taiwan, the team included the entire Reims squad. The shared the title with Finland, who never actually played the final.

Crisis years (1985-1998)

Due to receiving minimal support from the French Football Federation, who ultimately looked at women's football as being not highly regarded, France struggled in international competition failing to advance past the 1st Round of qualification in both the 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Women's Championship. Francis Coché, who managed the team during these failures, was later replaced by Aimé Mignot. Mignot proceeded to help the team, finally get past the 1st Round, however in the quarterfinals, they lost to Italy, which meant they wouldn't appear at the 1989 UEFA Women's Championship. Despite the initial positives, Mignot failed to continue his success with France failing to qualify for both the 1991 and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup and losing in the 1st Round of qualification in three straight UEFA Women's Championships. After almost a decade in charge, Mignot was replaced by former women's international Élisabeth Loisel.

Clairefontaine years (1998-2005)

With Loisel in charge, the FFF, along with then France national football team manager Aimé Jacquet, moved the women's national team to Clairefontaine, which had quickly become a high-level training facility for male football players. As a result of the move, younger women were afforded the same benefits from the facilities offered by Clairefontaine as the men. The success of female training led to the formation of Centre National de Formation et d'Entraînement de Clairefontaine, which is now referred to as the female section of the Clairefontaine academy.

Under the tutelage of Loisel, the first results appeared encouraging. They reached their first-ever Women's World Cup qualifying for the 2003 edition after defeating England over two legs in a play-off game in London and again at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. The match in Saint-Étienne attracted more than 23,000 spectators and was broadcast by the popular French broadcasting company Canal Plus. Loisel's squad later qualified for the 2005 European Championships, where they were knocked out in the group stage. She was eventually sacked after failing to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Bruno Bini years (2007-)

Loisel was replaced by former football player and now coach Bruno Bini. Bini had been in charge of several France female international youth sides before accepting the role and was tasked with the job of qualifying for UEFA Women's Euro 2009. Due to the success of the Clairefontaine project and the surprising emergence of the French women's first division, Division 1 Féminine, Bini inherited a team full of emerging, young, and influential talent, which included the likes of Camille Abily, Sonia Bompastor, Louisa Necib, Élise Bussaglia, Laura Georges, and Corine Franco. Bini was also provided with leadership from captain Sandrine Soubeyrand. Early results under Bini were extremely positive with France finishing first in their Euro qualifying group only conceded two goals. France also performed well in friendly tournaments, such as the Nordic Cup and Cyprus Cup.

At UEFA Women's Euro 2009, France were inserted into the group of death, which consisted of themselves, world powerhouse Germany, no. 7 ranked Norway, and an extremely underrated Iceland. France finished the group with 4 points, alongside Norway, with Germany leading the group. As a result of the competition's rules, all three nations qualified for the quarterfinals. In the knockout round, France suffered defeat to the Netherlands losing 4–5 on penalties after no goals were scored in regular time.

Bini's next task was to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup after disappointment four years ago. Currently, France are in top position of their qualifying group having scored 23 goals and conceding none over the course of 4 matches (all wins).

Current squad

Squad for 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification match against Serbia on 21 November.

Caps and goals as of 9 December 2009.

# Name DOB Club Caps Goals Debut
Goalkeepers
1 Bérangère Sapowicz February 6, 1983 (1983-02-06) (age 26) France Paris SG 4 0 v Japan Japan, 14 September 2003
16 Laëtitia Philippe April 30, 1991 (1991-04-30) (age 18) France Montpellier 1 0 v Serbia Serbia, 21 November 2009
Defenders
2 Sabrina Viguier January 4, 1981 (1981-01-04) (age 29) France Montpellier 75 1 v Greece Greece, 18 November 2000
3 Laure Boulleau October 22, 1986 (1986-10-22) (age 23) France Paris SG 3 1 v Wales Wales, 13 April 2005
4 Laura Georges August 20, 1984 (1984-08-20) (age 25) France Lyon 83 2 v Netherlands Netherlands, 26 September 2001
5 Ophélie Meilleroux January 18, 1984 (1984-01-18) (age 25) France Nord Allier 29 0 v Denmark Denmark, 14 March 2003
8 Sonia Bompastor June 8, 1980 (1980-06-08) (age 29) France Paris SG 111 12 v Scotland Scotland, 26 February 2000
13 Siga Tandia November 10, 1987 (1987-11-10) (age 22) France Soyaux 1 0 v Estonia Estonia, 28 October 2009
Midfielders
6 Sandrine Soubeyrand August 16, 1973 (1973-08-16) (age 36) France Juvisy 144 16 v Belgium Belgium, 12 April 1997
7 Corine Franco October 5, 1983 (1983-10-05) (age 26) France Lyon 35 7 v People's Republic of China China, 22 February 2003
10 Camille Abily December 5, 1984 (1984-12-05) (age 25) France Paris SG 59 14 v Netherlands Netherlands, 26 September 2001
11 Laure Lepailleur March 7, 1985 (1985-03-07) (age 24) France Paris SG 17 0 v Finland Finland, 13 March 2005
14 Louisa Nécib January 23, 1987 (1987-01-23) (age 22) France Lyon 40 6 v Norway Norway, 19 February 2005
15 Élise Bussaglia September 24, 1985 (1985-09-24) (age 24) France Paris SG 64 13 v Poland Poland, 15 November 2003
Strikers
9 Candie Herbert June 4, 1977 (1977-06-04) (age 32) France Hénin-Beaumont 80 11 v Italy Italy, 14 May 1994
12 Élodie Thomis August 13, 1986 (1986-08-13) (age 23) France Lyon 42 12 v Italy Italy, 6 June 2005
17 Gaëtane Thiney October 28, 1985 (1985-10-28) (age 24) France Juvisy 32 11 v People's Republic of China China, 28 February 2007
18 Marie-Laure Delie January 29, 1988 (1988-01-29) (age 21) France Montpellier 3 3 v Croatia Croatia, 23 September 2009

Recent call-ups

Name DOB Club Caps Goals Most recent callup
Goalkeepers
Céline Deville January 24, 1982 (1982-01-24) (age 27) France Montpellier 35 0 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Laëtitia Stribick January 22, 1984 (1984-01-22) (age 25) France Soyaux 1 0 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Sarah Bouhaddi October 17, 1986 (1986-10-17) (age 23) France Lyon 43 0 v UEFA Women's Euro 2009
Karima Benameur April 13, 1989 (1989-04-13) (age 20) France Toulouse 1 0 v Iceland Iceland; 27 September 2008
Defenders
Sandrine Dusang March 23, 1984 (1984-03-23) (age 25) France Lyon 44 1 v Estonia Estonia; 28 October 2009
Delphine Blanc June 7, 1983 (1983-06-07) (age 26) France Montpellier 12 3 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Carolie Ducher September 11, 1986 (1986-09-11) (age 23) France Lyon 1 0 v Japan Japan; 1 August 2009
Anne-Laure Casseleux January 13, 1984 (1984-01-13) (age 26) France Juvisy 19 0 v Canada Canada; 14 March 2008
Midfielders
Amandine Henry September 28, 1989 (1989-09-28) (age 20) France Lyon 6 0 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Mélissa Plaza July 28, 1988 (1988-07-28) (age 21) France Montpellier 2 0 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Caroline Pizzala November 23, 1987 (1987-11-23) (age 22) France Paris SG 7 0 v New Zealand New Zealand; 12 March 2009
Alix Faye-Chellali August 8, 1988 (1988-08-08) (age 21) France Lyon 4 0 v New Zealand New Zealand; 12 March 2009
Anne-Laure Perrot July 7, 1985 (1985-07-07) (age 24) France Saint-Étienne 1 0 v Serbia Serbia; 8 May 2008
Amélie Coquet December 31, 1984 (1984-12-31) (age 25) France Juvisy 15 3 v Serbia Serbia; 8 May 2008
Sonia Haziraj June 15, 1980 (1980-06-15) (age 29) France Stade Briochin 1 0 v Netherlands Netherlands; 14 December 2008
Jessica Houara September 23, 1987 (1987-09-23) (age 22) France Paris SG 1 0 v Canada Canada; 14 March 2008
Strikers
Eugénie Le Sommer May 18, 1989 (1989-05-18) (age 20) France Stade Briochin 16 3 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Sandrine Brétigny July 2, 1984 (1984-07-02) (age 25) France Lyon 15 10 v Croatia Croatia; 23 September 2009
Laëtitia Tonazzi January 31, 1981 (1981-01-31) (age 28) France Juvisy 54 14 v UEFA Women's Euro 2009
Candice Prévost June 24, 1983 (1983-06-24) (age 26) France Paris SG 7 0 v New Zealand New Zealand; 12 March 2009
Elodie Ramos March 13, 1983 (1983-03-13) (age 26) France Montpellier 9 1 v Iceland Iceland; 27 September 2008
Lilas Traïkia August 6, 1985 (1985-08-06) (age 24) France Albi 5 1 v Greece Greece; 23 April 2008

Recent results

Date Competition Location Home Team Result Away Team France Scorers
September 23, 2009
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Zaprešić, Croatia Croatia Croatia
0 – 7
France France
Soubeyrand Goal 25', Franco Goal 38', Goal 55', Delie Goal 45', Le Sommer Goal 65', Abily Goal 78', Thomis Goal 90+2'
October 24, 2009
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Lyon, France France France
2 – 0
Iceland Iceland
Thiney Goal 23', Thomis Goal 79'
October 28, 2009
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Le Havre, France France France
12 – 0
Estonia Estonia
Herbert Goal 27', Goal 57', Necib Goal 31',Abily Goal 36', Thiney Goal 37', Goal 41', Goal 47', Franco Goal 40', Thomis Goal 79', Delie Goal 80', Goal 90+1', Prants Goal 90+4' (o.g.)
November 21, 2009
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Inđija, Serbia Serbia Serbia
0 – 2
France France
Thiney Goal 27', Abily Goal 45+3'

Forthcoming fixtures

Date Competition Location Home Team Result Away Team France Scorers
February 25, 2010
Friendly
Dublin, Ireland Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland
France France
March 27, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France France France
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
March 31, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
France France
May 5, 2010
Friendly
Switzerland Switzerland Switzerland
France France
May 8, 2010
Friendly
Switzerland Switzerland Switzerland
France France
June 20, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Nancy, France France France
Croatia Croatia
June 23, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Estonia Estonia Estonia
France France
August 21, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Iceland Iceland Iceland
France France
August 25, 2010
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
Troyes, France France France
Serbia Serbia

Competitive record

World Cup record

Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
People's Republic of China 1991 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Sweden 1995 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
United States 1999 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
United States 2003 Round 1 9th 3 1 1 1 2 3
People's Republic of China 2007 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Germany 2011 Qualification in progess - - - - - - -
Total 1/5 0 Titles 3 1 1 1 2 3

European Championship record

Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
No Host 1984 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Norway 1987 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
West Germany 1989 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Denmark 1991 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Italy 1993 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Germany 1995 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
NorwaySweden 1997 Round 1 5th 3 1 1 1 4 5
Germany 2001 Round 1 6th 3 1 0 2 5 7
England 2005 Round 1 6th 3 1 1 1 4 5
Finland 2009 Round 2 5th 4 1 1 2 5 7
Total 4/10 0 13 4 3 6 18 24

Notable players (past and present)

Coaches

  • 1970–1978 : Pierre Geoffroy
  • 1978–1987 : Francis Coché
  • 1987–1997 : Aimé Mignot
  • 1997–2007 : Élisabeth Loisel
  • 2007- : Bruno Bini

References

External links

International women's football
World Map FIFA.svg
National women's football teams of Europe (UEFA)

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