Just as at senior female level, Germany have been the nation to beat in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship though in recent years their dominance has waned. They won five titles between 2000 and 2007 before claiming a sixth in 2011, but have since failed to even qualify twice.
The tournament began life as a U18 competition in 1997/98, Denmark and Sweden taking the first two titles before Germany gave warning of what was to come, claiming back-to-back honours following victories over Spain and Norway. The format was changed to U19s in 2001/02, but it did not spoil Germany's run as the 34 teams were whittled down to eight for the finals and then just two: themselves and France. Like two years earlier Germany again triumphed, winning 3-1.
It was France's second final defeat, having also lost the inaugural tournament, but they made it third time lucky in 2003 when they overcame Norway 2-0 to finally engrave their names on the trophy. Germany appeared back to their awesome best the following season, plundering a tournament record 23 goals en route to the final, including a 7-0 victory over Spain in the group stage. But it was a different matter in the rematch for the showpiece as Spain held on for a 2-1 win.
Spain failed to qualify to defend their title in 2005 as Russia held their nerves to beat France 6-5 on penalties in the final. Elena Danilova was their star with nine goals in the final tournament and was leading scorer again in 2005/06. Yet Russia lost 4-0 to Germany in the semi-finals, and Maren Meinert's side went on to defeat France 3-0 to clinch their fourth success, Isabel and Monique Kerschowski each scoring in both those matches. The twins were involved again in 2007, and Monique struck in the final to secure a 2-0 win against England in extra time.
England's time was to come, however. After Alice Parisi's 71st-minute spot kick helped Italy pip Norway to the title in France in 2008, Mo Marley's charges lifted the trophy in Belarus 12 months later. Their goal unbreached throughout a tournament that attracted record crowds, England were too strong for Sweden in the showpiece though 12 months later it was another matter as France beat them 2-1 to claim their second title.
Germany returned to the top of the pile in emphatic style in 2011, reclaiming the title with a final record 8-1 victory over a youthful Norway side, but for the first time they failed to even qualify to defend their title. Sweden did the damage and it was they that took the title in Turkey, Malin Diaz's extra-time goal enough to deny Spain and ensure a seventh winner in 12 tournaments.
Germany did not even qualify for those finals, and there was further evidence of their declining dominance in 2013 as France collected title No3. Then in 2014 neither of the traditional power houses managed to qualify, as the Netherlands inscribed their names on what was a new trophy.
2002: Germany (Sweden)
2003: France (Germany)
2004: Spain (Finland)
2005: Russia (Hungary)
2006: Germany (Switzerland)
2007: Germany (Iceland)
2008: Italy (France)
2009: England (Belarus)
2010: France (FYROM)
2011: Germany (Italy)
2012: Sweden (Turkey)
2013: France (Wales)
2014: Netherlands (Norway)
2015: ??? (Israel)
2016: ??? (Slovakia)
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