Les Bleuets de Kalulu, Caqueret, Képhren Thuram, Cherki or even Kalimuendo have all arrived with ambition in Romania, to compete in Euro-2023 Espoirs according to their coach, an event during which other countries will play for their place in Paris. – Games 2024.
In addition to the title of European champion to be awarded on July 8, most of the 16 nations competing as of Wednesday will already be heading to Romania and Georgia, the host nations, with ambitions of winning one of the three allotted spots. by UEFA for the Olympic Games.
“The tournament is very homogeneous,” warned French coach Sylvain Ripoll, before traveling to Cluj (Romania), where the Beloites will play the entire group stage including their first match on Thursday against Italy. “Of the 16 teams, eight or 10 may have the legitimate ambition to go all the way,” he adds.
His French team, led by Khefrin Thuram, is one of them, and whether it helps or not, he will not face pressure to win his ticket to the Olympic tournament, as the host country next year.
England, who beat the Blues in a friendly match in March (4-0), were not under such pressure either. Great Britain, which is participating in the Olympic Games, does not have a football team, and therefore the English will not play in qualifying for Paris 2024 during this Euro.
For others, the challenge is twofold, with a bit of subtlety. The Euro Espoirs tournament and the Olympic tournament held one year later are reserved for players under the age of 23, born on January 1, 2000 for the Euro, on January 1, 2001 for the Games. Many players will work in Georgia and Romania for the next generation, and they will never see Paris.
– German experience –
Among the candidate countries for Sylvain Ripoll is Germany in the first place. The young Manshaft stands for the hero, a feature that needs to be put into perspective because replenishing manpower from one issue to the next is more important than it was in A.
And yet: the Germans have been finalists in the last three editions of Euro Espoirs and have four players in their squad who have already tasted Mannschaft “A”.
Among them is Youssef Moukoko, the hope of German football, who, at the age of 18, continues to break records with his club, Borussia Dortmund, and his national team, with whom he participated in the last World Cup.
Another player who is in Qatar, Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos should carry the Portuguese hopes. The striker, who is being tracked by Paris SG, has a string of goals, both with his club and with the various selections (4 goals scored in 7 selections with A, including a hat-trick in the 1/8 final of the World Cup against Switzerland; 14 goals in 18 selections with Spain).
Seleção Esperos will also start the Euro match against Georgia, one of the host nations, on Wednesday afternoon in Tbilisi.
In the France group, Italy also has a workforce cut to go a long way. If the Azzurri, like other countries, can count on players who can apply for selection with the Nacional, they are innovating by taking to the Euros Leeds striker Wilfried Gennto, who has just participated with A in the Final Four of the Nations League (losing 2-1 in the semi-final). The final on 15 June against Spain (a 3-2 win over the Netherlands in the third-place match on Sunday) before hopes were released.
Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, countries accustomed to competing in major competitions, claim one of the three “Olympic” places in addition to lifting the European Cup on July 8 in Batumi on the shores of the Black Sea.
Thursday 22nd June
France – Italy (8:45 pm, Cluj Arena)
Sunday 25 June
Norway – France (8:45 pm, CFR Cluj Stadium)
Wednesday 28 June
Switzerland – France (8:45 pm, CFR Cluj Stadium)