Germany may not have won the 2004 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship but they stole most of the headlines in their record breaking run to the finals with the prolific Anja Mittag leading the charge.
The 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam product was no stranger to the competition − four days before her 17th birthday she had been part of the Germany team that beat France 3-1 to win the first U19 title and was back in the finals a year later. By then she had already starred in Potsdam's German double-winning season so expectations were high for Mittag in Finland.
She immediately delivered. In Germany's three qualifiers she had scored six of their 23 goals, and in the finals opener against the hosts Mittag claimed the first in a 4-0 victory. Two days later it was 4-0 again versus Switzerland − three of those goals belonged to Mittag, including a classy back-heel. Her finals tally reached five by the end of the group stage as Spain were defeated 7-0.
That was not the peak. Mittag again was among the scorers as Russia were overcome 8-0 in the semi-finals, seven of the goals arriving after half-time. Germany's 23 goals was already a record for any UEFA final tournament and they now had the two biggest wins in any WU19 finals. However, Spain stunned them 2-1 in the final, though Mittag was the tournament top scorer. "The back-heeled goal against Switzerland was my favourite," Mittag told UEFA.com. "However, it would be more satisfying to have won the European Championship."
She would not have to wait for more honours, however. Germany went on to win the FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Thailand, Mittag starring yet again. Then came triumphs for club and country in the UEFA Women's Cup and UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005, where Mittag was Germany's youngest player.