• The two teams together have three U21 EURO titles together, but haven’t made much of the finals in recent years before meeting at the Új Bozsik stadium in Budapest.
• The winners of this match will face Denmark or Germany in the semi-final on June 3 in Szekésfehérvár.
• The teams met in only one previous match of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, in the 2006 semi-finals in Braga. Goals from Nicky Hofs (6) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (38) put the Dutch ahead at half-time, but France retaliated by Julien Faubert (51) and Bryan Bergougnoux (85) to force extra time , only for Hofs to score a winner in the 107th minute. The Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-0 in the final to win their first title.
• The most recent of six country friendlies took place in March 2015, when Anthony Martial scored twice and Yassine Benzia and Corentin Tolisso once each in a 4-1 home win for France at Sedan; Queensy Menig got the only response from visitors.
• This made France’s overall record against the Netherlands W4 D2 L1 – the only loss to come in that one previous competitive meeting in 2006.
• Amine Gouiri scored in France’s 2-1 U20 friendly victory over the Netherlands at Clairefontaine in November 2019. Aurélien Tchouaméni was also in the home lineup while Jordan Teze and Sven Botman both left for the Netherlands, whose goal came from substitute Jurgen Ekkelenkamp.
• Justin Bijlow, Dani de Wit, Javairô Dilrosun, as well as substitute Justin Kluivert were all on the side of the Netherlands who played a 1-1 draw in a U19 friendly against France in November 2016; Faitout Maouassa, Odsonne Édouard and substitute Jonathan Ikoné were on the visitors’ list in Tbilisi, Georgia.
• The Dutch have missed the last three EURO U21 finals; this is their first appearance since their defeat to Italy in the 2013 semi-finals.
• Champions of Portugal in 2006 and again at home 12 months later, this is the Netherlands’ sixth appearance in an eight- or 12-team final. They also reached the two-legged semi-finals in 1988.
• In the qualifying tournament for the 2019 finals, a team coached by Erwin van de Looi – who have been in charge since May 2018 – finished second behind England in their section.
• This time around, Van de Looi oversaw an almost flawless qualifying campaign, with the Dutch leading the overall standings with 46 goals – nine more than any other team – and winning nine of their ten matches. A 2-1 loss to Portugal in their last clash was not enough to prevent them from finishing first in Group 7, above their head-to-head opponents.
• In the group stage, the Dutch finished first in Group A in a three-way head-to-head with Germany and eliminated Romania. They drew their first two games 1-1, against Romania and Germany, before a 6-1 victory over co-host Hungary sealed the progress. The Netherlands’ eight group goals were scored by seven different players, with only Cody Gakpo on two occasions.
• This is the fourth U21 quarter-final for the Netherlands; their record is W2 L1. They won the last victory by beating Romania 2-1 in 1998, and beat Spain at the same stage a decade earlier (1-0 a, 2-1 h aet) but lost to Sweden on goals outside in 1992 (2- 1 h, 0-1 a).
• Champions in 1988, France finished third in 1996 and fourth two years earlier, and were semi-finalists in 2019. They also reached the quarter-finals in 1982, 1984 and 1986.
• France is in the final for the second consecutive edition and makes its fourth appearance in the general classification in an eight or twelve team final. They never failed to qualify in their group. In 2019, they took part in a U21 EURO for the first time in 13 years; they were second in 2002, losing the final on penalties to the Czech Republic, and were beaten by the Netherlands, 3-2 after extra time, in the last four in 2006.
• Two years ago in Italy, Sylvain Ripoll’s team finished second in Group C with seven points, tied with Romania but behind the head-to-head record. They beat England (2-1) and Croatia (1-0) before a goalless draw against Romania on Matchday 3; Eventually champion Spain proved too strong in the semifinals, coming from behind to retreat 4-1 to Reggio Emilia.
• The draw against Romania was the first group game of the Under-21 final that France failed to win; they recorded three wins in 2002 and 2006 before their two wins in 2019. A 1-0 loss to Denmark on Matchday 1 of the finals was therefore their first loss in the group stage.
• Ripoll, who has been in the driver’s seat since 2017, guided Les Bleuets to these finals as Group 2 winners in qualifying, with his team scoring 27 points in ten games to outstrip the other Swiss finalists for first place after the teams had reached the level. France’s only loss was a 3-1 setback to the Swiss, who they beat by the same score in their last qualifying game to take first place on goal difference.
• Edward’s 11 goals in qualifying, which included penalties in four straight games, made him the second-highest scorer in the overall standings, behind only Eddie Nketiah of England (13 goals).
• France have lost only four of their last 36 U21 European Championship matches (V28, N4).
• France finished second to Denmark in Group C, recovering from a first 1-0 loss to the Scandinavians with 2-0 wins over Russia and Iceland, with Edward finding the net in both matches.
• France’s record in the quarter-finals is W3 L3. They lost their first three matches, the last to Spain in 1986 (1-3 h, 1-3 a), but won the last three. Their last quarter-final, in 1996, ended in a victory against Germany (0-0 a, 4-1 h).
Links and anecdotes
• Have played in France:
Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain 2019–)
Sven Botman (LOSC Lille 2020–)
And Sierhuis (Reims 2020–)
• Have played together:
Mitchel Bakker et Colin Dagba (Paris Saint-Germain 2019–)
Sven Botman & Boubakary Soumaré, Jonathan Ikoné (LOSC Lille 2020–)
Justin Kluivert and Ibrahima Konaté, Dayot Upamecano (Leipzig 2020–)
• Brian Brobbey scored in Ajax’s 2-1 win at LOSC Lille, while Soumaré and substitute Ikoné played for the French club in the round of 16 first leg of the UEFA Europa League on 18 February.
• Kluivert was replaced late when Leipzig beat Paris 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 4 November.