The German juniors are always considered trophy contenders at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and have won the tournament twice in the past. Budding starlets Simone Laudehr and Melanie Behringer, both now seasoned full internationals, led their team to success at the 2004 edition in Thailand. Six years later, the generation spearheaded by Alexandra Popp and Dzsenifer Marozsan, also regulars for the senior team nowadays, scored 20 goals and conceded just five in winning all six of their matches at the 2010 finals on home soil.
Coach Maren Meinert’s team are the defending champions and will inevitably be rated among the favourites in Japan. The Germans gave ample notice of intent at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in 2011, progressively despatching their continental rivals and peaking with a thumping 8-1 victory against Norway in the final.
"Once you know what it feels like to win a trophy, you become even hungrier for success, because you just want to feel and experience it all over again," declared captain Ramona Petzelberger after the European triumph. With that kind of attitude, and a strong historical record, it is hard to imagine the Germans not going a long way in Japan.
Facts and figures
Anja Mittag, Linda Bresonik (2002), Melanie Behringer, Simone Laudehr, Celia Okoyino da Mbabi (2004), Kim Kulig, Nicole Banecki (2008), Alexandra Popp, Dzsenifer Marozsan (2010)
Luisa Wensing (defender), Dzsenifer Marozsan (forward), Ramona Petzelberger (forward)
2 – Ramona Petzelberger, who led her team to the trophy at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, previously tasted continental glory as a member of the tournament-winning U-17 squad two years earlier.