Germany
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The past
At the second edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™, in Trinidad & Tobago 2010, Germany were eliminated in the quarter-finals. A 1-0 defeat to Korea DPR ended an impressive run which had started with commanding displays to beat Mexico 9-0, South Africa 10-1 and Korea Republic 3-0 in the group stage.

At New Zealand 2008 the German youngsters came up short in the semi-finals, with a 1-0 loss against USA. They had previously beaten Costa Rica, Ghana and Canada, as well as drawing with eventual winners Korea DPR. Nevertheless, they managed to recover their form in the third-place play-off to beat England 3-0.

The present
This year Germany travel to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 as queens of Europe. Winning the UEFA European Women’s U-17 Championship was their third such triumph, following back-to-back successes in 2008 and 2009. A 2-0 victory over Denmark in the semi-finals guaranteed Anouschka Bernhard’s side their place at Azerbaijan 2012. In the final they overcame France 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 1-1.

The victory means Germany travel to Azerbaijan full of confidence. “As reigning European champions we want to make it to the latter stages of the World Cup,” said Bernhard, who took over as coach in March 2011, after the final. “Going out in the group stage or picking up the odd point isn’t what we’re after.”

The future
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup increasingly appears to be a breeding ground for future senior stars to develop. Eight of Germany’s squad at the 2008 finals were also part of the squad at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2010 on home soil. Dszenifer Marozsan, Svenja Huth, Almuth Schult and Alexandra Popp have subsequently graduated into the senior side, as have Lena Lotzen and Luisa Wensing from the 2010 group. Popp even played at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. According to Bernhard, captain Sara Dabritz will be the player to watch in Azerbaijan, alongside goalkeeper Merle Frohms.

Facts and figures
Former stars
Dzsenifer Marozsan, Alexandra Popp, Lena Lotzen

Key players
Sara Dabritz, Pauline Bremer, Merle Frohms

The numbers game
2 - The number of penalties Merle Frohms saved against France in the UEFA European Women’s U-17 Championship final.