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Tournament history: WU19 EURO

Like at senior women's level, Germany have been the country to defeat in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship but other teams are beginning to catch up.

Germany celebrate after winning the title in 2011
Germany celebrate after winning the title in 2011 ©Sportsfile

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 amassed five titles between 2000 and 2007 before claiming a sixth in 2011, but have since failed to qualify twice.

Final goals compilation

U18 origins
The tournament began life as an Under-18 competition in 1997/98, Denmark and Sweden lifting the first two titles before Germany gave warning of things to come, taking back-to-back honours with victories over Spain and Norway.

The format was changed to U19s in 2001/02, though that did not spoil Germany's run as the 34 teams were whittled down to eight for the finals and then just two: Germany and France. The former again triumphed to achieve a hat-trick of titles.

It was France's second final defeat, after losing in the inaugural tournament, yet they made it third time lucky in 2003, overcoming Norway to finally engrave their name on the trophy.

Germany appeared back to their awesome best the next season, plundering a tournament-record 23 goals en route to the final, including a 7-0 group-stage thrashing of Spain. However, it proved a different matter in the rematch as Spain held on for a climactic 2-1 win.

The Spanish failed to qualify to defend their title in 2005, when Russia held their nerve against France on penalties in the decider. Elena Danilova starred with nine goals that summer and was leading scorer again in 2005/06.

Yet Russia were undone by Germany in the semis. Maren Meinert's side went on to defeat France and clinch their fourth success, twins Isabel and Monique Kerschowski netting in both matches. The duo were involved again in 2007, Monique striking in the final to secure an extra-time victory over England.

New contenders
England's time would come, however. After Alice Parisi's spot kick had helped Italy pip Norway to glory in France in 2008, Mo Marley's charges landed the trophy in Belarus 12 months later. Their goal unbreached throughout a tournament attracting record crowds, England were too strong for Sweden in the showpiece. A year on it was another matter as France narrowly beat them to pick up their second title.

Germany returned to the top in emphatic style in 2011, reclaiming their crown with a final-record 8-1 triumph over a youthful Norway – but then, for the first time ever, they missed out on qualification. Sweden did the damage and it was the Scandinavians who prevailed overall in Turkey, Malin Diaz's extra-time goal denying Spain and ensuring a seventh winner in 11 tournaments.

Further evidence of Germany's declining dominance arrived in 2013 as France collected title No3. Then, in 2014, neither of the traditional powerhouses managed to qualify, leaving the Netherlands to inscribe their name on what was a new trophy.

Vivianne Miedema was the inspiration, just as Stina Blackstenius would be 12 months later when Sweden became the third country to win the championship more than once. France took the 2016 title in Slovakia as Spain lost their third straight final. A year later Spain ended that run with two late goals in Northern Ireland to dethrone France 3-2, and in 2018 they beat Germany 1-0 in Switzerland to retain the title. Germany also reached the 2019 final in Scotland, only to lose 2-1 to France.

Highlights: Blackstenius's crowning moment for Sweden

The following two editions were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic but, with a new two-division Nations League-style qualifying format to ensure all teams play competitive games in autumn and spring, the competition returned in 2021/22 with Spain claiming the title in the Czechia, coming from behind to beat Norway 2-1. They retained it a year later, defeating Germany on penalties in Belgium.