Kingsley Coman was only four years old when France won their last major trophy, taking out the Euro 2000 on the back of a home World Cup success.
Since then, Coman has grown up to announce himself as a promising prospect at Bayern Munich, while France’s performances have failed to impress.
In 2002 they didn’t make it out of their World Cup group after qualifying as champions, then fast-forward to 2006 when they made the final, just to lose Zinedine Zidane and the game thanks to a reckless head-butt and a penalty shoot-out.
At Euro 2008 they disappointingly finished last in Group C, behind Italy, Netherlands and Romania.
Finally back on home soil for the Euro 2016, Didier Dechamps’ team looks like it could have the perfect mix of youth and experience, to go all the way.
Coman is the youngest player in the squad at 19 years old, and he is joined by Anthony Martial (20), Lucas Digne (22) and Paul Pogba (23) to round out the complement of youth.
Despite their tender ages, the quartet have recorded 52 international caps between them.
Real Madrid’s Raphaël Varane would’ve been another key young player in the squad, but he misses the tournament through a thigh injury suffered in training with his club side.
Deschamps will rely on the crucial mix of youthful exuberance and the cool heads of the more experienced players to find the goals to propel the team to glory, wary of the absence of talisman Karim Benzema, whose off-pitch scandals have led to his suspension from the national team.
Coman, Martial, and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann will be supporting long-time servants Olivier Giroud and André-Pierre Gignac in the search for the back of the net.
N’Golo Kanté’s breakout season with Leicester City has attracted Deschamps’ attention to bring him into the fold, despite only having played two games for the national team.
Barcelona’s Jérémy Mathieu finds himself in a similar situation; a strong season with the Spanish champions giving the 32-year-old a chance to add to the five caps he’s earned during his international career.
The likes of Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye and captain Hugo Lloris will be the leaders within the squad, after racking up the most caps over many years of national team service.
To win any international tournament is tough, but with only two key outs, on home soil, and with a well-curated mix of flair, strength, speed, youth and experience, don’t be surprised to see the hosts on the winners’ podium come July 10
Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Adil Rami (Sevilla)
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham)