Germany U17 are European Champions and made the final of the U17 World Cup in Indonesia against France. - © IMAGO/Zulkarnain
Germany U17 are European Champions and made the final of the U17 World Cup in Indonesia against France. - © IMAGO/Zulkarnain

5 players to watch from Germany's U17 World Cup finalists


Germany's U17 side have given the country a boost ahead of EURO 2024 by making the final of the World Cup in Indonesia. takes a look at the biggest future talents on display for the young national team.

Assan Ouédraogo 
Position: Central midfield
17 (9 May 2006)

It is befitting a club that has produced the likes of Manuel Neuer, Leroy Sané and Leon Goretzka is developing one of the stars of the successful current Germany U17 crop of talents.

That Ouédraogo is an imposing midfield presence will come of no surprise to any Schalke fans, however. He became Schalke's youngest-ever player - and goalscorer - in a 5-3 defeat to Hamburg on the opening day of Bundesliga 2 in July, and played in each of the following 10 league matches until injury struck. 

He returned in time to make a brief late appearance in Germany U17's opening World Cup match against Mexico until a ligament injury forced him off in the first half of the next match against New Zealand - and ended his tournament early. That the young German side have succeeded without their midfield maestro does not take anything away from the bright future Ouédraogo appears destined for.

Watch: Ouédraogo becomes youngest ever Schalke scorer in opening day defeat to Hamburg

Paris Brunner
Borussia Dortmund
17 (15 Febuary 2006)

The Dortmund youngster's scoring exploits at youth level have brought him comparisons with Youssoufa Moukoko. Brunner is a tricky attacker that likes to dribble at opposition defences and has a superb eye for goal.

He has also proved beyond any doubt this year that he has a healthy knack of stepping up to deliver when needed the most. Brunner was joint top scorer in the 2023 UEFA U17 European Championships as Germany lifted the crown.

He was brought down to win a penalty in a tight World Cup quarter-final against Spain and stepped up himself to seal a 1-0 win. Brunner then scored a brilliant brace against Argentina in a semi-final that was tied at 3-3 after extra time - the Dortmund youngster then secured Germany's spot in the final by smashing home the decisive spot kick in the resulting shootout.

Paris Brunner won the Golden Boot at the U17 European Championships in Hungary in summer 2023 - IMAGO/Aleksandar Djorovic

Max Schmitt
Bayern Munich
Position: Goalkeeper
17 (8 January 2006)

Schmitt generally plays for Bayern's U19 and the Bundesliga champions' reserve team. He has already made the first-team squad, in the Champions League encounter against Manchester United in Munich in September, no less. 

The tall goalkeeper played a big part in ensuring Gremany's progress through the tournament with a number of vital saves in the last 16 against the USA and in the quarter-finals against Spain. He sat through the dramatic semi-final against Argentina due to illness, but he has done more than enough - including saving the penultimate penalty in the decisive shootout in the European championship final against France U17 in the summer - to make a promising future at the top level very likely.

Max Schmitt has enjoyed quite the autumn, starring for Germany U17 in the World Cup in Indonesia and making the Bayern Munich squad for a Champions League encounter with Manchester United. - IMAGO/Adrian Macias

Max Moerstedt
Position: Centre-forward
Age: 17 (15 January 2016)

Some see the role of a classic centre-forward making a comeback in football, with the likes of Niclas Füllkrug proving big number 9s can indeed thrive in the Bundesliga. The giant Hoffenheim youngster fits that mould perfectly, having led the line superbly for Germany U17 in the World Cup.

Moerstedt does have a habit like Harry Kane of dropping deeper to supply the likes of Brunner when needed. That has been shown by his scintillating form at club level, with 10 goals and six assists in 11 appearances in the U17 Bundesliga. The powerful header he sank against Argentina in the World Cup semi-final was a real glimpse of his deadliness and drew him level with Brunner as Germany's top scorer in the tournament with four goals. 

Max Moerstedt scored his fourth goal of the U17 World Cup in the semi-final against Argentina - IMAGO/Marcio Machado/M.i.S.

Finn Jeltsch
Position: Centre-back
17 (17 July 2006)

However many attacking talents a side possesses, they would have little chance of succeeding without a defensive stalwart. Jeltsch has filled that role superbly for Germany U17 - both in the European Championships last summer and at the World Cup. He has featured in every match in both tournaments and was named Man of the Match in the narrow World Cup semi-final win against Spain.

He is certainly highly rated by those who see him the most - his club. Jeltsch captains the Nuremberg U19 side despite being only 17, and has three times been called up into the matchday squad of the Bundesliga 2 outfit - making a debut appearance for them surely only a matter of time.

Finn Jeltsch was on the substitutes' bench for Nuremberg in their Bundesliga 2 Matchday 12 game against Schalke. - IMAGO/Sportfoto Zink / Daniel Marr

The final now beckons for the talented German youngsters - for only the second time in the U17 World Cup, and first since 1985. France lie between Germany and the honour of being crowned world champions, with kick-off at 13:00 CET on Saturday in Surakarta.