Though Germany are not U-17 World Cup regulars, they do have a creditable record in the competition and fell to the eventual champions on each of their last three appearances. At Korea 2007 they went down 3-1 to Nigeria in the semi-finals, and lost 4-3 to Switzerland after extra time in the Round of 16 two years later. Then, at their last U-17 world finals in Mexico in 2011, the Germans succumbed 3-2 to the hosts in the last four, though they did go on to finish third, as they also did in 2007. World finalists on five other occasions, they took fourth place at Egypt 1997 and, as West Germany, reached the quarter-finals at Scotland 1989 and finished runners-up at China PR 1985, their best performance to date.
Germany went into the UEFA European U-17 Championship Bulgaria 2015 as one of the favourites. They justified that billing by winning all their games en route to the final without conceding a single goal, though they did need a penalty shoot-out to see off Spain in the quarters. In the group phase the Germans recorded respective 2-0, 1-0 and 4-0 wins over Belgium, Slovenia and Czech Republic before seeing off Russia 1-0 in the semis. France proved to be too tough a nut to crack in the final, however, as Christian Wuck’s side slipped to a 4-1 defeat. “We had a very good tournament,” Germany defender Daniel Nesseler told UEFA.com afterwards. “Of course it hurts to lose in the final, but we can take a lot of positives from our performances and we can now look forward to the World Cup. We need to use what we've learned here to shape our future.”
Many a Germany player has made the transition from the U-17 side to the full national team, among them Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Shkodran Mustafi, all of whom featured in the Mannschaft squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The current Germany crop contains several players who can be expected to follow in their footsteps and make an impact at the very highest level.