Germany
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The past
As ever, Germany will be among for this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, having already lifted the trophy on two previous occasions. At Thailand 2004, now-established senior players Simone Laudehr and Melanie Behringer led Germany to the title, with fellow first-team internationals Alexandra Popp and Dzsenifer Marozsan helping the side to their second title six years later, this time on home soil. Germany reached the final once more in Japan in 2012 but had to settle for second place after being beaten by the USA.

The present
While Germany travelled to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 as reigning European champions, coach Maren Meinert’s team missed out on a place in the final of the UEFA U-19 Women’s Championship 2013 in Wales after falling to a 2-1 semi-final defeat at the hands of France. However, reaching the last four had already secured Germany’s place at Canada 2014. “You can’t blame the team. They gave it their all, but despite having several chances, they scored too late in the game. I told the girls that this is the way football is and that conceding two quick goals can decide a game at the top level,” said Meinert after the team’s exit to the eventual champions.

The future
Players who featured at the 2012 tournament in Japan, such as Dzsenifer Marozsan, Leonie Maier and Lena Lotzen, are now members of the senior team and were crowned European champions in Sweden in 2013. The current Germany U-20 squad is filled with promising talent and has the potential to go all the way once more. Some players, such as Merle Frohms, Manjou Wilde, Rebecca Knaak or Pauline Bremer, previously made a name for themselves with convincing performances at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012.