Last night, the French U17s team destroyed their German counterparts by beating them to the European title by 4-1. Instrumental in France’s convincing victory was 17 year-old Odsonne Edouard of PSG, who completed his hattrick with a beautiful chip over Germany’s Frommann in the 70th minute.
It is clear that the future for French football looks bright and with players like Edouard looking to make an impression at senior level, Les Bleus will be excited about their prospects ahead of the 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup. With the exception of 2006, the French team have failed to hit heights of the past and still seem to be in the process of getting over Zinedine Zidane’s legacy. With Zidane’s son Luca in goal for France and instrumental in getting the team to the final, the country may no longer have to look beyond the World Cup-winning legend.
What is more, four of the starting eleven ply their trade in PSG’s youth department, which is an interesting development, especially considering the large amounts of money that seemed to be poured in to the club by their Qatari owners. It seems as though, the focus has been on a long-term project rather than on quick successes. This approach seems somewhat similar to that of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, given that the club are about to unleash a host of local talent next season.
In any case, similar to Germany and possibly England, France seem to have a great footballing future in store and it would not be too surprising if both PSG and Zinedine Zidane played a critical part in this development. We should watch the space and look beyond next summer’s European Championship, which is to be held in France. The real opportunities will become apparent when the likes of Edouard pair up with a Paul Pogba at his peak.