Germany U21 vs England U21 Euro final - where are they now

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On 29 June 2009, Germany U21 and England U21 met in the final of the European Championships. The result was an emphatic victory for Germany as they thrashed Stuart Pearce's England 4-0.

The goals for Germany that day came from Gonzalo Castro, Mesut Ozil and Sandro Wagner (2). Six of the players in the Germany starting line up went on to play in the  side that was victorious in last year's World Cup. However the careers of many of the England players went in a very different direction.

Here's how the two starting line-ups from the 2009 U21 European Championship final compare...

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Manuel Neuer (58 senior caps)

Manuel Neuer made his Germany debut later that year during the tour of the United Arab Emirates. When goalkeeper Robert Enke died in 2009 Neuer became second choice to Rene Adler.

An injury to Adler before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa meant that he was promoted to first choice for the tournament. Germany faced England in the quarter-finals and Neuer provided the assist for the opening goal.

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During that game he was involved in Frank Lampard's infamous ghost goal, when the ball struck the bar and crossed the line only for the officials to miss it. Neuer featured again for Germany at Euro 2012 before playing in goal for the victorious team at last summer's World Cup, he won the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper following the tournament.

Scott Loach (0 senior caps)

Loach only played in the final due to first choice goalkeeper Joe Hart being suspended. He has received two call ups to the senior England squad but has never won a cap.

Loach now plays for Rotherman having had stints at Ipswich, Bury and Yeovil since the 2009 final. He is 27-years-old now and it would be a major shock if he ever featured for the England senior team.



Andreas Beck (9 senior caps)

Beck received his first call up to the senior team on 5 February 2009 and made his debut against Norway. He has a total of nine senior caps to his name but has not featured at tournament level for Germany.

He was included on the preliminary 30-man squad for the 2010 World Cup but failed to make the final cut. However his lack of success on the international stage is somewhat understandable when Germany have one of the best right-backs of the modern era in Philipp Lahm.

Martin Cranie (0 senior caps)

Cranie has caps at all the England age levels from U17 apart from the senior team. He has spent much of his time since 2009 in the lower leagues of English football but has not been offered a new deal at his current club Barnsley. At a time when England are seeking a new right-back, he is certainly not the man.



Benedikt Howedes (32 senior caps)

It wasn't until May 2011 that Howedes won his first cap for Germany's senior team. His debut came in a friendly against Uruguay while He played in his first competitive match the following month as Germany faced Azerbaijan in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Howedes was named in the squad for Euro 2012 but he did not feature at the tournament. He made his tournament debut when he played left back against Portugal at the 2014 World Cup. He played in every match as Germany won the competition while currently has two international goals to his name and has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.

Micah Richards (13 senior caps)

Richards had already featured for the senior team when he played in the U21 final. His senior debut was on 15 November 2006 when he filled in for the injured Gary Neville.

He featured 11 times during Steve McClaren's time as manager, however played only once during Fabio Capello's time in charge of England and hasn't featured for his country since. His lack of international action can be partly put down to his struggles at club level where he lost his place in Manchester City's team to Pablo Zabaleta. 



Jerome Boateng (52 senior caps)

Boateng made his debut for the senior team on 10 October 2009 against Russia and became the first German to be sent off on his international debut. However this early disappointment did not affect him and he has established himself as a crucial player in Germany's defence.

Boateng was part of the 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup. At Euro 2012 he played right-back and featured in four of the teams five matches. Boateng was an important member of last year's World Cup winning side and was seen by many as the man of the match in the final against Argentina.

Nedum Onuoha (0 senior caps)

Another who never made the jump to the senior team. Since the 2009 final he has left Manchester City and joined but QPR but hasn't done enough to earn so much as a call up to the England senior team.

In March 2007 he was called up to the Nigeria squad but turned it down in favour of representing England. He has since said that he will play for Nigeria if called up again, with his England hopes dead and buried.



Sebastian Boenisch (14 senior caps for Poland)

Rumours started in 2009 that Poland were considering calling up Boenisch. His chances of featuring for the Germany senior team were very slim so on 20 August 2010 he decided to play for Poland.

He made his debut against Ukraine on 4 September 2010 and was then called up to the Poland squad for Euro 2012. However he has not featured for Poland since 2013 and has just 14 caps to his name.

Kieran Gibbs (8 senior caps)

Gibbs was called up to the senior team by Fabio Capello on 7 August 2010. He made his debut on 11 August coming on as a substitute for Ashley Cole but has struggled to cement himself in the England team due to competition from first Cole and more recently Leighton Baines.

However he does have 111 appearances for Arsenal to his name and the left-back position is still up for grabs in the England squad meaning he could have a bright international future.



Mats Hummels (39 senior caps)

Hummels made his senior debut against Malta on 13 May 2010. He did not make the final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup but played every minute of Germany's Euro 2012 campaign.

He was named in the squad for the 2014 World Cup and scored two goals at the tournament while his performances saw him named on the ten man short-list for the Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.

Hummels is one of the most sought after defenders in world football and has long since been linked to Manchester United.

Fabrice Muamba (0 senior caps)

Muamba represented England from U16 level up to U21 but never managed to win a cap for the senior team. But his career was cruelly cut short when he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing at White Hart Lane on 17 March 2012.

His heart stopped for 78 minutes meaning his recovery was nothing short of miracle. Sadly, it means that he will likely never be able to play again. Who knows what he might have achieved in his career.



Fabian Johnson (32 caps for USA)

On 11 October 2011 Johnson made his debut for the USA in a defeat to France. His first start came on the 15 October while his first goal came during a friendly with Turkey on 1 June 2014.

Johnson was named in the squad for the 2014 World Cup and played in defence for the team. He was in the starting 11 for the side's defeat to Belgium in the round of 16.

James Milner (54 senior caps)

The only member of the 2009 U21 team that featured in last year's World Cup. He now has 54 England caps to his name though his goal scoring record leaves a lot to be desired.

Milner made his debut for the senior team in August 2009 and was named in Fabio Capello's 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup. He also made Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2012.

His first international goal came later that year when he struck against Moldova during World Cup qualification. After several years with Manchester City he has just completed a free transfer to Liverpool.



Gonzalo Castro (5 senior caps)

Castro already had experience with the Germany senior team when he played in the final in 2009. He made his debut against Denmark on 28 March 2007 and went on to make another four appearances for the side that year.

However Castro has not featured for the senior team since 2007. Impressive performances during the 2014/15 season and a subsequent move to Borussia Dortmund have meant that he is knocking on the door once again.

Lee Cattermole (0 senior caps)

Yet another who has never managed to break into the senior team. For years Cattermole was competing for a place with some of the finest midfielders of this generation such as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

Now he is being overlooked in favour of the likes of Jack Wilshire and Jordan Henderson. A tough, often hot-headed, midfielder who is good at what he does but the conscientious among England managers seems to be that he is not at the level required.



Sami Khedira (56 senior caps)

Captained the team in the 2009 final and made his debut for the senior team in a friendly against South Africa later that year. He made the squad for the 2010 World Cup and played all seven matches in place of Michael Ballack.

Two years later Khedira featured in every minute of every game during Germany's Euro 2012 campaign. He was a member of the squad for the 2014 World Cup, however suffered a devastating injury during the pre-match warm up before the final meaning he was unable to play in Germany's victory.

Mark Noble (0 senior caps)

West Ham fans will be the first to tell you that Mark Noble should have been given a chance in the England senior team, and they have a case. He captained the side in the 2009 final defeat but is still waiting for his first senior cap.

He is 28 so there is still time for him to fulfil his ambition of playing for England but he has refused to rule out playing for Ireland in the future. He is a very experienced player with 282 appearances to his name for West Ham, so you never know.



Mesut Ozil (66 senior caps)

Ozil made his debut for the senior side on 11 February 2009 and scored his first goal in his third appearance on 5 September against South Africa.

He was named in the squad for the 2010 World Cup and started every match at the tournament, scoring against Ghana and providing the assist for Thomas Muller to score Germany's fourth goal in their 4-1 victory against England.

Ozil scored five times during qualification for Euro 2012 before featuring at the tournament. At the 2014 World Cup he played in all seven matches as Germany emerged victorious. His most important contribution was the winning goal against Algeria in the round of 16 match.

Adam Johnson (12 senior caps)

Johnson made his England debut in a World Cup warm-up match against Mexico on 24 May 2010. Despite making the 30-man preliminary squad for the 2010 World Cup he failed to make the final 23.

His first start came in England's first post-World Cup game against Hungary at Wembley while he scored the first of two international goals in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria on 3 September 2010, but could only make the stand-by list for the tournament. Johnson has not played for his country since.



Sandro Wagner (0 senior caps)

The only player from Germany's starting line-up that has not won a cap at senior international level. Wagner scored two of Germany's four goals in their 2009 victory against England but has not managed to break into the senior team.

However it is hardly surprising when Germany have had the likes of Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose at their disposal. At 27 he still has time, but it would be a surprise if he ever appears for Joachim Low's side.

Theo Walcott (40 senior caps)

Walcott was a shock call up to Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad in 2006. This was before Walcott had a single Premier League appearance to his name. Unsurprisingly he did not feature at the tournament.

On 30 May 2006 he became England's youngest ever senior player when he appeared against Hungary, but Steve McClaren put Walcott into the U21s when he took over as manager of England.

His greatest moment in an England shirt came when he scored a hat-trick against Croatia during qualification for the 2010 World Cup, becoming the youngest ever England player to do so.

However he did not make the squad for the tournament. Walcott went to Euro 2012 with England and scored after coming on against Sweden. However he again missed out on the World Cup, this time due to injury, in 2014.


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