At around this time, Veronique Rabiot was yelling at Wilfried Mbappé. Yelling. And yes, it was that Rabiot, mother of Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot. And yes again, it was that Mbappé, mother of then-PSG winger Kylian Mbappé.

The argument came in the backdrop of France’s shocking loss to Switzerland, where Switzerland came back from two goals down in regular time, survived extra time, and won in the penalty shootout, with Mbappé seeing his penalty saved with the last kick of the game. Looking back, the scene seems straight out of a youth soccer league, with an angry mom demanding to speak to referees, coaches, and even other parents. But this was Euro 2020, and France’s hopes of claiming its third-ever title were just dashed in jaw-dropping fashion.

After furious words were exchanged, with Veronique reportedly telling Wilfried that he hoped he talked with Kylian, insisting that he was too arrogant and wasn’t playing for the team, Veronique went for Paul Pogba. His losing the ball helped set the stage for Switzerland’s stoppage-time equalizer. The whole situation was chaos — something that has followed France since 1998 and onwards.

Despite the controversy and discord in the locker room, France can reasonably take their revenge in 2024, four years after the fallout among parents, players, and FFF staff. France enters Euro 2024 as the favorite to win it all. The team returns several star players from their Euro and World Cup campaigns while introducing several new youthful stars. They’re in peak form, can manage their group well, and they’re led by one of the best managers in the game, Didier Deschamps. However, the same question from 2020 follows them in 2024 — how will this go wrong?

Their Form

Since their unexpected penalty shootout loss to Switzerland in Euro 2020, France has had some good form. Despite poor Nations League performances, France stormed to the final of the 2022 World Cup, narrowly losing on penalties to Argentina. Since then, they’ve lost only twice — both friendly losses to Germany.

We saw a glimpse of what this French team could look like when they travel to Germany. In France’s 3-0 win over Luxembourg, Didier Deschamps made the bold move to start N’Golo Kanté, who currently plays at Al-Ittihad. He made up a midfield three that also contained Antoine Griezmann and Youssouf Fofana, while Edouardo Camavinga and Warren Zaïre-Emery came off the bench.

Mike Maignan is set to make his first appearance for France in a major tournament, taking over the goalkeeper spot after Hugo Lloris’ retirement. Otherwise, the team looked rich in quality and didn’t have any other shocking inclusions.

Their Path to the Final

France will play in Group D, facing Austria, the Netherlands, and Poland in a tough Group of Death. Although they are surefire favorites to advance out of the group, their opponents could give them trouble.

Austria has won their last six games, including a 2-0 win against Germany and a 6-1 walloping of Turkey. They are in peak form, registering just one loss since November 2022. They will miss key Real center-back David Alaba, who is undergoing knee surgery during the summer. They’re led by Bayern midfielder Konrad Laimer and Dortmund’s Marcel Sabitzer.

Poland traditionally struggles in Euro 2024 — they have just two wins in their last 14 Euro matches. They often look to latch onto long balls, dominating possession, and play directly on offense. The aging superstar duo of Robert Lewandowski and Wojciech Szczęsny will look to guide the squad to their first knockout appearance since 2016, while Roma winger Nicola Zalewski and Arsenal’s Jakub Kiwior are younger players who could make a difference down the line.

The Netherlands is France’s biggest competition going into the group stage. France swept the Netherlands in their Euro qualifying group — a 4-0 win in March 2023 and a 2-0 win in October — but dismissing the Dutch would be criminal. The Dutch made a deep run in the World Cup, losing to eventual winners Argentina. They have an elite defense starring Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Aké, Matthijs de Ligt, and Jeremie Frimpong. They can be a bother based on the star power in the squad.

If France finishes first in the group, they’ll face the runners-up in Group F — likely one of Turkey, Georgia, or the Czech Republic. A second-place finish would mean they would face the runners-up of Group E. They could play the likes of Slovakia, Romania, or Ukraine.

Key Players

Kylian Mbappé is arguably the best player active right now, and he needs to prove it entering Euro 2024. Just days after securing his long-awaited transfer to Real Madrid, Mbappé scored once and assisted two goals in France’s first friendly in months. He looked electric going into the match, and he’ll need to maintain that form going into Euro 2024.

France goes into the Euros with an entirely new defense than in 2020. All are relatively young and there’s no real veteran presence to tie the team all together after Varane’s international retirement. It’s why France’s two wingbacks — Theo Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard will see an increased role going into the match. They were the only two defenders who witnessed France’s stunning loss to Switzerland, and so they’ll have not only a leadership role, but they’ll also have to recreate their club form for Les Bleus.

The Key Question

Realistically, France is the undisputed favorite to win the Euros. Their quality and depth are amazing, especially considering they’ve only improved after their World Cup finals loss. However, this France squad doesn’t have a clear-cut starting eleven and there are clear differences over playstyle.

The key question for France going into Euro 2024 is what will this France team look like?

Despite France’s utter dominance in their win against Luxembourg, there were still huge questions. Marcus Thuram had an eerily quiet night in Metz playing on the left. He plays as a center-forward with Inter, so does it mean Thuram isn’t ready to play left-wing? Should Mbappé and Thuram switch positions? Or will a player like Bradley Barcola take his place?

Another question is who will step into the leadership role for France. Despite wearing the captain’s armband for France, Mbappé is still only 25. The team’s average age is 26.9; most of the team’s key players haven’t entered their prime yet.

It means that Kanté and Griezmann, both 33 with extensive international experience, will need to be leaders on the field for France and steer them in the right direction. Lloris, Varane, Benzema, and even Paul Pogba are all gone, so it’s on Kanté and Griezmann to uphold France’s high standards and keep the youth focused on the field.


At their best, France could win the Euros, easily. At worst, they could suffer another shocking knockout round loss like they did in 2020. But, again, France’s best will be determined off the field and in the locker room. Euro 2021 was dominated by a lack of French cohesiveness and external drama that distracted players and clouded their minds. France needs to have some natural leaders and nice chemistry to be able to reach their full potential at Euro 2024.

France schedule at Euro 2024

France vs. Canada, June 9th, 3:15 p.m. EST, Friendly

France vs. Austria, June 17th, 3 p.m. EST, Euro 2024

France vs the Netherlands, June 21st, 3 p.m. EST, Euro 2024

France vs Poland, June 25th, 12 p.m. EST, Euro 2024


Euro 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Euros!
Euro Bracket: Download a free PDF bracket for the tournament
Euro 2024 Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Euro games live in 2024
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer