Former Arsenal, Marseille and Auxerre midfielder Abou Diaby featured for both the France under-19 and under-21 teams before he was given his debut for the senior team in 2007. Abou Diaby was an Arsenal player when he played his first game for the France senior team. Diaby was given his first cap by Raymond Domenech as a substitute for Florent Malouda in the second half of the Euro 2008 qualifier against Lithuania in March 2007.
His first game for the France national team had come at the under-19 level during the win over Turkey. Abou Diaby was involved in all the six qualifying games as France enjoyed an unbeaten run to seal their place at the 2005 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Northern Ireland. At the tournament, Diaby and France were drawn in Group B alongside England, Norway and Armenia.
Abou Diaby was suspended for the first group game against England which ended in a 1-1. He returned to play all the other France games until the end of the tournament starting with the 3-1 win over Norway in the second group game thanks to three goals from Yoann Gourcuff, while Kevin Larsen scored the lone goal for the Norwegians. For the final game, France sealed top spot with a 1-0 win over Armenia.
In the semi-finals, France beat Germany 3-2 to seal a rematch with the English team in the final. Abdoulaye Balde (a brace) and Yohan Cabaye got the goals for France, while Dennis Epstein and Kevin-Prince Boateng scored for the Germans. In the final, Abou Diaby was able to win his one and only international trophy after France came from behind to beat England 3-1 to win the tournament. Lee Holmes scored four minutes from the half-time break to give England the lead, but France replied with three second half goals to win the game. Mohamed Chakouri, Abdoulaye Balde and Yoan Gouffran scored the goals for the French team.