FIFA U-17 World Cup: Germany look to break semi-final jinx

Germany have made it to the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup four times and have played more matches (44) than any other European side.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 30, 2017 15:38 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,Germany Football Team
Germany’s best performance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup was in 1985 where they finished as runners-up. (Getty Images )

For a country that has won four World Cups, Germany haven’t yet managed to win the under-17 title; their best performance coming in the 1985 when they were runners-up. The European heavyweights have been among the most consistent teams in the competition though, making it to the semi-finals four times.

They are in the finals for the 10th time and have played more matches (44) than any other European side.

Coach Christian Wuck said after their semi-final defeat at hands of Spain in the European championship that this team has the best lot of young players he has managed and he expects them to go all the way in the finals. Germany scored 36 goals in the Euros.

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Guinea look to spring a surprise)

KNOW THE COACH

Christian Wuck

Now 44, he has been associated with the German Football Association since 2012 working with different junior sides. Under his tutelage, Germany reached the final of the 2015 U-17 European Championship where they were beaten 4-1 by France. In the 2015 Under-17 World Cup Wuck’s chargers lost to Croatia in the last 16.

PAST PERFORMANCE

Runners-up: 1985. Third place: 2007, 2011. Fourth place: 1997.

PASSAGE to India

They lost in the semi-finals of the Under-17 European Championship but making it to the last four was enough for them to qualify. Results in Euro U-17: Bt Bosnia and Herzegovina 5-0; bt Serbia 3-1; bt Republic of Ireland 7-0; bt Netherlands 2-1; lost 2-4 to Spain in tie-breaker (regulation time 0-0)

POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Jann-Fiete Arp

Age:17

Club: Hamburger SV

Position: Forward

Why he is special: He finished as the second top scorer in the Under-17 European Championship with seven goals that included two hattricks. His first, in a 5-0 defeat of Bosnia and Herzegovina, took only 13 minutes and the Hamburg player’s second set up a joint finals record 7-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland. Standing 1.86m tall, broad-shouldered Arp was linked with a move to Chelsea but chose to stay at his old club.

Name: Elias Abouchabaka

Age: 17

Club: RB Leipzig

Position: Attacking midfielder

Why he is special: Proved a fine foil for lone forward Arp. The No. 10 scored three goals in the Euro under-17 in Croatia and impressed everyone with his guile. A left-footed player, he is strong in one-on-one situations and can operate on both wings. He is already being touted to represent the senior squad in near future.

Lars Lukas Mai

Age: 17

Club: Bayern Munich

Position: Centre-back

Why is he special: He played a major role in Germany reaching the semi-finals of the European championship.s He was the captain of the Bayern’s under-17 said that won the Bundesliga and so impressed was Carlo Ancelotti with his display that he has been included in the Bayern squad for the Champions League as well.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 16:17 IST