Germany′s U20 World Cup team ready to go in New Zealand | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 28.05.2015
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Germany's U20 World Cup team ready to go in New Zealand

Germany's under 20 side are looking to follow up their U19 success of last summer, when they take to the field in New Zealand over the coming days. The team boasts a host of Bundesliga young talent.

Football these days is fixated on discovering the latest up-and-coming superstar. Skills that take years of honing and effort are crunched into two-second Vines for the modern consumer. That, you can expect a great deal of this summer.

Europe's top scouts will descend on New Zealand from May 30 to June 22 for the 20th FIFA U20 World Cup with Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal all represented. It's certainly not the youth football tournament that will attract the headlines in Europe this summer - that will likely be the U21 European Championships in the Czech Republic in June - but the U20 World Cup still resonates internationally.

To South American nations, this is the chance to compare its elite talents with those of modern European academies. Like the Olympic Football Tournament, success at the U20 World Cup is the holy grail of youth football especially in South America.

Remember: this is the tournament that has delivered Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and Neymar, Sergio Aguero and Oscar, to name just a few. Two years ago in Turkey, Paul Pogba, the all-encompassing midfielder at Champions League finalists Juventus, was the tournament's breakthrough player when he won with France.

Julian Brandt plays for Germany's U19 team in Budapest

Julian Brandt in action for Germany at the U19 Euros last summer

'We're targeting top-four'

For many of the possible future internationals in the Germany squad, the tournament will also be very important for their career development.

None of the country's traditional rivals, such as, Spain, Netherlands, France or England have qualified for the tournament this summer. "The anticipation is huge," said head coach Frank Wormuth. "I'm confident we will play a good part in the World Cup.

"In our squad, there are six players from the Bundesliga, four from the second division, four from the third division and seven from the league below that," he explained. "This is a very good mix for us."

The 20-man squad also comprises ten U19 European Champions from last summer including Bayer Leverkusen's talented forward Julian Brandt and Frankfurt's hard-working midfielder Marc Stendera. Schalke's backup keeper Timon Wellenreuther is a late inclusion to the squad, whilst Davie Selke, the top scorer at U19 Euros, is not included after being required at training camp for his new club, RB Leipzig. Julian Weigl from 1860 Munich will be going, despite it being confirmed on Thursday that he is bound for Borussia Dortmund.

Representation of Germany's lower domestic leagues comes in the shape of Marvin Stefaniak from Dynamo Dresden and Freiburg-bound Tim Kleindienst who is contracted to Energie Cottbus.

Germany will start their campaign on June 1 in the group phase against Fiji. They also have group stage matches against Uzbekistan and Honduras, which they'll be expected to win too. But, they could meet heavily-fancied Brazil or Portugal later in the competition.

Germany's U20 World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Mesenhöler (Cologne), Marvin Schwäbe (Hoffenheim), Timon Wellenreuther (Schalke)

Defenders: Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim), Thomas Hagn (Unterhaching), Marc-Oliver Kempf (SC Freiburg), Grischa Prömel (Hoffenheim), Niklas Stark (Nuremberg), Anthony Syhre (Hertha Berlin), Maximilian Wittek (1860 Munich)

Midfielders: Robert Bauer (FC Ingolstadt), Hany Mukhtar (Benfica Lissabon), Matti Steinmann (Hamburger SV), Marc Stendera (Eintracht Frankfurt), Julian Weigl (1860 Munich)

Attackers: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Jeremy Dudziak (Borussia Dortmund), Tim Kleindienst (Energie Cottbus), Felix Lohkemper (VfB Stuttgart), Levin Öztunali (Werder Bremen), Marvin Stefaniak (Dynamo Dresden)

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