France has faced difficulties in scoring goals at Euro 2024, but their qualification for the quarterfinals is thanks to a robust defense that has left all their opponents frustrated. Les Bleus have not scored in open play yet, advancing to the last eight after a Kylian Mbappe penalty and two own goals, the most recent being Jan Vertonghen's in their 1-0 win over Belgium in the round of 16 on Monday. Didier Deschamps's team has only conceded once, in a 1-1 draw against Poland during the group phase, which included a re-taken penalty by Robert Lewandowski. France has been far from their usual flamboyant style, a stark contrast to the team that scored nine goals en route to the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals and seven in four games in 2018. In Germany, they share the best defense with Spain, having conceded only one goal, despite center backs William Saliba and Dayot Upamecano not having started together in a four-man defense before a friendly against Canada last month.

Coach Didier Deschamps praised the team's defensive solidity after the Belgium game, stating, "We have an interesting defensive solidity. It's essential at this level. We've come a long way because it hasn't been easy for everyone." He added, "It's not just a question of defending well. We had good control of the ball. They did everything they could to make sure we didn't concede a goal. Even if we only managed one, that's enough for today." Forward Randal Kolo Muani, whose deflected shot secured France's victory on Monday, also commended the team's defense, saying, "We should be more efficient in front of goal, but defense is the key to success." Saliba's anticipation and Upamecano's strength have been too much for their opponents, while Jules Kounde has impressed at right back. Left back Theo Hernandez was crucial against Belgium with a timely tackle to deny Yannick Carrasco, and keeper Mike Maignan has made 12 crucial saves, including two from Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne as France defeated Belgium for the fifth time in as many major tournaments.

Former Lille and Roma coach Rudi Garcia told French sports daily L'Equipe, "We have the best keeper of the tournament in Mike Maignan. He's at a very high level and he's been keeping us afloat. We've been very solid defensively and that could take us very far." France's next challenge is Portugal, who defeated them in the Euro 2016 final.