The Germany women's team is only around 30 years old but is the dominant force in Europe, not to mention the world.
Coaching guru Gero Bisanz set up the West Germany team in 1982 and set up a scouting and youth system as well as encouraging clubs to adopt a uniform playing style to ensure players could slot easily into the national side. Within seven years he had a team good enough to win the European title 4-1 against Norway in front of around 22,000 fans in Osnabruck. In 1991, a unified German team tasted glory in the new UEFA European Women's Championship and although they lost their title in 1993, they have won every edition since as well as two FIFA Women's World Cups and many youth tournaments.
Their youth system has ensured that even as greats like Maren Meinert, Birgit Prinz and Steffi Jones have retired, talents like Simone Laudehr and Célia Okoyino da Mbabi have replaced them. Their loss in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals to Japan on home soil was a blow, and later that year Spain ended Germany's winning streak in qualifying going back to 1999, but they have since returned to supreme form, Da Mbabi's qualifying total of 17 goals a record.
Qualifying round: Group 2 winners, P10 W9 D1 L0 F64 A3 Pts28
Nadine Angerer (goalkeeper, 1. FFC Frankfurt), Simone Laudehr (midfielder, 1. FFC Frankfurt), Célia Okoyino da Mbabi (forward, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr)
Coach: Silvia Neid
Date of birth: 2 May 1964
Playing career: SC Klinge Seckach, SSG 09 Bergisch Gladbach, TSV Siegen
Coaching career: Germany Under-18, Germany U19, Germany
Silvia Neid had some act to follow when she took over as Germany coach in 2005, but in her very first tournament her team retained the FIFA Women's World Cup and in 2009 made it five European titles in a row.
Neid was a leading player in the first great generation of women's football in Germany. Joining SSG 09 Bergisch Gladbach in 1983 from SC Klinge Seckach, she helped them to a league title and one German Cup triumph before moving to TSV Siegen, where she claimed six championships and five knockout crowns between 1985 and 1996. In that time, she also captained Germany to victory at the 1989, 1991 and 1995 UEFA European Women's Championships, as well as reaching the FIFA World Cup final in the last of those years.
In 1996 she retired, having long been groomed for a coaching role by the founder of the Germany women's team, Gero Bisanz. Neid joined the technical staff of the national squad under her former playing colleague Tina Theune-Meyer, and in addition to assisting her to further senior European titles in 1997 and 2001 and the 2003 FIFA World Cup, Neid proved a success in charge of the youth team, winning the 2000 and 2001 UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championships and completing a hat-trick with the renamed U19 event a year later. That was topped in 2004 when Germany won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and after Neid helped Theune-Meyer to end her time in charge with another European crown in 2005, she took over as senior coach.
Germany soon cruised into the 2007 FIFA World Cup and once in China made stately progress to retaining their global title. In 2008, Germany won Olympic bronze for the third consecutive Games and secured another EURO in 2009. Neid's contract currently runs until 2016.
Qualifying top scorer
Célia Okoyino da Mbabi: 17
1993: fourth place
1987: did not qualify
1984: did not qualify
2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2011 UEFA European Women's Under-18/U19 Championship
2008, 2009, 2012 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship
2003, 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup
2004, 2010 FIFA U-19/U-20 Women's World Cup
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