For the third consecutive U21 European championship, Stefan Kuntz’s Germany U21s are in the tournament final. On Sunday at 21:00 CEST in Ljubljana, they will take on Portugal in a fight for the title. DFB.de brings you the stats and facts ahead of the final.
Unwelcome opponent: Germany have lost all of their last five U21 international encounters with Portugal – no other team has beaten Germany more times since the turn of the millennium. The 5-0 loss in the 2015 EURO semi-final was the heaviest defeat in Germany U21 history.
Third strike? Germany have been crowned U21 champions of Europe twice before: Once in 2009 after a 4-0 win against England in the final, and again in 2017, beating Spain 1-0. In 2019 (2-1 loss to Spain) and in 1982 (5-4 aggregate loss to England), the Germany U21s finished tournament runners up. Portugal on the other hand have lost both of their U21 EURO final appearances, in 1994 (1-0 Golden Goal defeat against Italy) and in 2015 (losing on penalties to Sweden). After 2017 and 2019, Germany will play their third consecutive European championship final on Sunday, which equals Italy’s all-time record in U21 football (1992, 1994, 1996).
Young gun: In the semi-final on Thursday night, Florian Wirtz became the youngest ever German goalscorer at a U21 European championship at just 18 years and one month of age. He also became the second youngest scorer for the U21s across all competitions after Julian Draxler in 2011 (17 years, ten months and 20 days old). After 7 minutes and 26 seconds, Wirtz also recorded the fastest ever brace at a U21 EURO tournament.
Final experience: Lukas Nmecha is the only player in the Germany squad who featured in the 2019 final. In the current tournament, no player can top his goal involvement tally (3 goals, 1 assist).
Woodwork curse: In five games at the 2021 EUROS, the German youngsters have struck the woodwork no fewer than eight times, the same number of times they’ve celebrated a goal. No other team at the tournament has hit the post or crossbar more than twice. Five of Germany’s woodwork strikes came from Mergim Berisha, three of which came in the semi-final against the Netherlands.
Clinical: With a chance conversion rate of 24 percent, Portugal are almost twice as clinical in front of goal than the DFB U21s (13 percent). Only Denmark (44 percent) have been more clinical than the Portuguese youngsters, who also boast the highest goal tally at the tournament with twelve goals. They have also conceded fewer goals (3) than their German counterparts (4).
Record alert: Portugal could become only the second team ever to win every single game at a U21 EURO finals since the introduction of a group stage format in 2000. The only other team to win the tournament with a 100 percent win record was Spain in 2013.