FIFA U-20 World Cup record
Despite a long history of young French players shining for Europe's biggest clubs, the country's record at the FIFA U-20 World Cup is by no means exceptional. Indeed, Les Bleuets graced just five of the tournament's previous 20 editions, failing to get beyond the group stage during their first appearance in Tunisia in 1977. They fared better in Malaysia in 1997, reaching the quarter-finals, and matched that feat in Argentina four years later, before losing to Portugal in the semi-finals at Colombia 2011 and succumbing to Mexico in the third-place play-off. Proving they had learned their lesson, a side featuring Paul Pogba and the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Florian Thauvin, Lucas Digne and Alphonse Areola then clinched victory at the 2013 finals in Turkey, but the next generation missed out on defending that title when they failed to qualify for New Zealand 2015.
Road to Korea Republic
Back on the global stage after their misstep last time out, France will head to the U-20 World Cup as European champions, having won the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Germany. Their commanding 4-0 final win against Italy might suggest Les Bleuets had everything their own way at the tournament, yet the reality was quite different. France kicked off with a 2-1 loss to England, but after a rethink they bounced back with a 2-0 success against Croatia and 5-1 defeat of the Netherlands in their remaining group games, before seeing off Portugal 3-1 in the last four. Their eye-catching showpiece victory then sealed a third continental crown and helped Jean-Kevin Augustin, scorer of the opening goal against Italy, to claim the title of leading marksman.
Born in Lens in 1963, Ludovic Batelli trained as a goalkeeper and enjoyed a ten-year professional career between the posts from 1983 to 1993, spending most of that time in the French second tier. His coaching experiences have also played out away from the limelight, with Batelli holding the reins of a number of modest sides in the lower divisions. He led Valenciennes to the French amateur title in 1998 and helped Amiens reach the French Cup final as an assistant coach in 2001, before eventually joining the French Football Federation (FFF) in 2013. Since then, he has overseen the U-20s, U-18s and now the U-19s, whom he steered to European glory and a place at Korea Republic 2017.
11 – The number of goals fired in by Jean-Kevin Augustin (six) and Kylian Mbappe (five) at the European finals, the French duo finishing first and second in the competition's goalscoring hierarchy. Paris Saint-Germain forward Augustin equalled the tournament record thanks to his impressive tally, matching Spain's Alvaro Morata (2011) and Germany's Davie Selke (2014).