After the celebratory reception at home, the gold boys of the U17 team went back to everyday life. “I’m graduating this year. That’s why I have to go to math class on Tuesday,” said Eric Emanuel da Silva Moreira from FC St. Pauli at the small party on the DFB campus.

Coach Christian Wück’s team’s World Cup triumph brought great relief to the German Football Association and fueled hopes for the future. “A few months ago it was still being said that German football was on the rocks and what was going on with our youngsters. That was a real exclamation mark that we set, in keeping with the European Championship. We experienced a winter fairy tale and hope that it will be the same in the next one year with a summer fairy tale,” said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf with a view to the home European Championship.

DFB boss: World Cup title should be broadcast on home European Championships

The first World Cup success of a German U17 team should have an impact well beyond 2024. “They’re all great guys. We’re on the right track with the team,” said Neuendorf. But the path to the professional camp is long and difficult. “I told the players that the next step must come from them and take place in the clubs,” reported Wück.

The former Bundesliga professional also held the clubs accountable. “The clubs have to find ways to give them playing time at the highest level. That’s our bottleneck in Germany. We have enough talent, but we can’t manage to give the boys enough playing time at the moment. Not in the first league , not in the 2nd league and not in the 3rd league either,” said Wück.

First and foremost, it’s about trust, which was a big plus for the U17. “I think the professional clubs don’t have this trust. The question is why not,” complained the 50-year-old and warned: “Without good training, without good talent, the senior national team and the U21s will not be fed with young players.”

The Spanish top club FC Barcelona could serve as a role model, where talent is used at a young age. “Other nations – Spain is a good example – are showing us how to do this by using young players in the first three leagues. I would also like to see more of that in Germany,” said Wück.

One person who is about to jump is Finn Jeltsch. The defender from second division club 1. FC Nürnberg was at least in the Franconian squad before the World Cup trip to Indonesia and is dreaming of his professional debut soon. “I want to continue in the same way. Hopefully the coach trusts me to do so,” said Jeltsch.

Golden generation with good career opportunities

In general, DFB sports director Rudi Völler advises the U17 world champions around goal scorer Paris Brunner to exercise a sense of proportion and keep their feet on the ground in their further development. He hopes “that they are now advised so that they can be used in the clubs, that is the basis of everything. That they don’t go to clubs where they are not used,” said Völler in the Sport1 one-two.

Wück is in good spirits. “Everyone has the goal of making it to the professional level,” he assured. DFB boss Neuendorf is also convinced that the golden generation has good career opportunities. “It’s enormous when you see how many contexts they are involved in and still manage to focus. That’s very special,” he praised and added: “The team’s mentality is exemplary.”

Now you also have the necessary self-confidence. When asked about a role model from the Bundesliga, right-back Da Silva Moreira said: “I’m trying to start a new era and become a role model myself.”