World Cup 2014: German youth policy pays off in Brazil

Germany 2009 under-21 European Championship final
Six players from Germany's successful under-21s side in 2009 played in this summer's World Cup

Germany's youth policy paid off as they became world champions for the fourth time.

Six of their World Cup-winning squad played in the side which beat England 4-0 in the 2009 European Championship Under-21s final.

James Milner was the only England player from that game to play at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Germans beat Argentina 1-0 in Sunday's final, while England went out of the competition in the group stages.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defenders Mats Hummels, Benedikt Howedes and Jerome Boateng and midfielders Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil started against England in the youth final.

Only the injured Khedira did not start against Argentina.

Since that final in Malmo five years ago, Ozil won La Liga with Real Madrid before making a £42.4m move to Arsenal last September.

England Germany 2009
James Milner, third from left, joined Manchester City for a reported £26m from Aston Villa in 2010

His title-winning team-mate at Real was Khedira, who also helped the Spanish giants to the 2013-14 Champions League title.

Neuer, 28, and Boateng both play for Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, while Hummels is a two-times Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund. Howedes, 26, plays for Schalke.

Here is what became of the England squad from that under-21 final:

Scott Loach (Rotherham)

The 26-year-old goalkeeper started his career at Watford before joining Ipswich in 2012. He moved to newly promoted Championship side Rotherham in June after losing his place in the Ipswich side to Dean Gerken. Has not played at international level since that U21 final.

Martin Cranie (Barnsley)

The right-back made 16 appearances for England's U21s, with his last cap in 2009. He played alongside Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale at youth level with Southampton, before playing for Portsmouth and current club Barnsley, who are in League One.

Micah Richards (Manchester City)

The 25-year-old defender has been with Premier League champions Manchester City since 2005, but made just two appearances last season. Progressed from the U21 squad to the senior England side and has 13 caps in total, but has not played for the national team since 2012. Also represented Great Britain at the London Olympics that year.

Nedum Onuoha (QPR)

Played his last game at international level in the 2009 U21 European Championship final. The 27-year-old defender came through the ranks at Manchester City and made 95 appearances, but left in 2012 to join Queens Park Rangers. Part of the squad which secured promotion from the Championship last season, but struggled with injuries and played only eight games.

Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)

The left-back is a first-team regular at last season's FA Cup winners Arsenal and played 42 games in 2013-14 - the most since coming through the youth ranks at the club in 2007. Made his full England debut in 2010 but had just two further appearances because of injury.

Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)

The 26-year-old midfielder currently plays for Sunderland, where he has been since leaving Wigan in 2009. Won the last of his 16 U21 caps in 2010 and has yet to be recognised at senior level.

Fabrice Muamba (midfielder)

Earned 33 U21 caps, the last of those coming in 2011. The 26-year-old retired from football in March the following year after suffering a cardiac arrest when playing in an FA Cup match for Bolton against Tottenham.

Mark Noble (West Ham)

The midfielder, 27, captained England's U21s in the 2009 European Championship, but has not played internationally since the final of that tournament. Has been with West Ham since 2004 and made 38 appearances in the Premier League last season.

James Milner (Manchester City)

The 27-year-old midfielder has arguably been the most successful player to progress from the U21 side which played Germany in 2009. A two-times Premier League winner with Manchester City, whom he joined for a reported £26m from Aston Villa in 2010, he has made 48 appearances for England and was part of the 23-man squad at this summer's World Cup. He started England's final group game which ended in a goalless draw with Costa Rica.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Like Milner, Walcott has progressed to become a regular for England and would have been in the squad for Brazil but for a knee injury which ruled him out of the tournament. The 25-year-old forward, a key player for Arsenal whom he joined for an initial £5m in 2006, has 36 England caps and scored against Sweden at Euro 2012.

Adam Johnson (Sunderland)

The 27-year-old also managed to make the step-up to the senior England side and has 11 caps, but has not played since 2012. The midfielder moved from Manchester City to Sunderland two years ago and is a key player for the Black Cats. An impressive spell of form in the Premier League in the middle of last season saw him in contention for a place in England's World Cup squad, but he ultimately missed out.


Jack Rodwell (Manchester City): Replaced Fabrice Muamba in the 2009 final and progressed to the senior England side in 2012, going on to make a total of three appearances for the national team. The midfielder joined Manchester City from Everton in 2012 and has played 26 games at club level, 10 of those last season.

Michael Mancienne (Hamburg): The defender, who came on for Nedum Onuoha, made 30 appearances at U21 level, with his last cap coming in 2009. Rose through the ranks at Chelsea and had loan spells at QPR and Wolverhampton Wanderers, before joining German club Hamburg in 2011.

Craig Gardner (WBA): The midfielder, 27, replaced Martin Cranie in the final, but has not played international football since then.

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