France have been among the world's leading sides since first reaching fifth place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking back in March 2005. Les Bleues’ greatest success to date was their fourth-place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, a result that also sealed their qualification for the Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012. Making their first appearance at the Olympics that year, the French matched their World Cup result by finishing fourth once more. In the group stage Les Bleues were beaten by USA before overcoming Korea DPR and Colombia. They then ended Sweden's hopes in the quarter-finals before falling short against Japan in the last four and losing to Canada in the bronze medal match.
The road to Rio
France booked their ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games thanks to their 3-0 Round of 16 victory against Korea Republic at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. With England, who do not participate in the Olympics as an individual association, beating Norway at the same stage of the competition and Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands also crashing out in the last 16, the French were guaranteed one of Europe’s three berths for the best placed UEFA teams at Canada 2015. On their way to their quarter-final penalty shootout loss to Germany, Philippe Bergeroo’s side also recorded two wins against England and Mexico, and suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Colombia.
Bergeroo succeeded Bruno Bini as France coach in 2013. This is the former international goalkeeper and UEFA EURO 1984 winner’s first stint in charge of a women’s side, having previously coached Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and the men’s U-17 national team. Bergeroo was also part of Aime Jacquet’s coaching staff during Les Bleus’ 1998 FIFA World Cup™ triumph.
Gaetane Thiney, Louisa Necib, Laura Georges and Wendie Renard
14 – Laura Georges is France’s most capped World Cup player with 14 appearances to her name, and featured in all six of her country’s matches at London 2012.