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2016: Jean-Kévin Augustin

Published: Wednesday 27 July 2016, 16.05CET
Jean-Kévin Augustin's six goals, including a hat-trick against the Netherlands and a stunning solo effort in the final, equalled the tournament record and fired France to a third title.
by Andrew Haslam
from Heidelberg
2016: Jean-Kévin Augustin
France's Jean-Kévin Augustin with the top scorers' trophy ©Sportsfile
Published: Wednesday 27 July 2016, 16.05CET

2016: Jean-Kévin Augustin

Jean-Kévin Augustin's six goals, including a hat-trick against the Netherlands and a stunning solo effort in the final, equalled the tournament record and fired France to a third title.

Jean-Kévin Augustin was in illustrious company after the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, the striker's six goals in Germany equalling the finals record held by Álvaro Morata (2011) and Davie Selke (2014).

The Paris Saint-Germain forward came into the finals having scored five times in the qualifying round – including a hat-trick against Gibraltar – but then failed to find the net in three elite round appearances, although he did provide assists for the only goals against Montenegro and Serbia.

Five goals in Paris's path to the UEFA Youth League final hinted at Augustin's pedigree, and the player also knew his own game. "My game is based on explosiveness," he explained. "Between training sessions I work in the weights room. I've made progress in front of goal, but I still have a long way to go. Training with big stars every day, you can only succeed. My team-mates tell me I must think of hitting the target before I start to think about shooting hard."

©Sportsfile

France started slowly, conceding twice in the first nine minutes of their opening Group B game against England and unable to recover despite Augustin's strike just after the half-hour mark. He registered again as Ludovic Batelli's side bounced back with a 2-0 defeat of Croatia on matchday two, then took centre stage against the Netherlands.

A superb treble and another assist helped France to a 5-1 victory, and a place in the semi-finals, although Augustin was quick to play down his own contribution. "Goals are important for a forward because they give you confidence, but football's a team sport," he said. "If I'm in the right position to finish it off it's because of the work of the whole unit."

That understanding was evident again as Portugal were beaten in the last four, setting up a final against Italy at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim, home of Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. Augustin had said France "want to achieve something big" at the tournament and six minutes into the final he was as good as his word, dribbling past three defenders and then rounding goalkeeper Alex Meret for a superb solo effort.

That set France on the way to a 4-0 record final win, making them U19 champions for the third time. Batelli picked out Augustin for praise, adding: "He's shown here he's got a lot of talent. He'll have learned a lot from this tournament; he's brought a lot to this team. He's a European champion and goes home with a smile on his face."

Last updated: 27/07/16 16.05CET

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