Denmark

Denmark national football team logo
Denmark

World Cup Participation

1986, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2018, 2022

Championships:

None

Denmark National Football Team History

Olympic Success

A team composed of Danish players won gold at the 1906 Olympics in Athens but their first official international wasn’t until 1908. The Denmark national football team destroyed the French B team 9-0 and defeated France’s A team 17-1 in the semifinals as Sophus Nielsen scored an astounding 10 goals.

Denmark were runners up at their first official tournament and also won the silver medal in 1912. In their first major tournament, the 1964 European Championship, Denmark national football team lost both of their matches. The Danish football union only allowed amateur players to compete for the national team until the rule was changed in 1971.

So, in 1984 the Red and Whites qualified for their first major tournament in 20 years. Denmark performed well and the team was dubbed “Danish Dynamite” as they qualified for the semifinals but eventually lost to Spain in penalties.

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Denmark National Football Team Records

The first Denmark national football team FIFA World Cup appearance was two years later, in 1986. In the “Group of Death”, Denmark miraculously won all three of their matches and advanced to the round of 16. Unfortunately, they fell to Spain once again.

The Danes failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup but went on one of the best runs in soccer history at the 1992 Euros. Denmark only qualified for the tournament due to sanctions levied by UEFA against a warring Yugoslavia and the legendary Michael Laudrup had stepped aside from the national team two years prior.

In a group with hosts Sweden, France and England, Denmark managed to finish second and advance to the semifinals. Henrik Larsen scored a double in a 2-2 draw vs. the Netherlands, but the Danes were victorious in penalties.

Facing Germany in the final, Denmark pulled off the 2-0 upset and won their first major tournament. Larsen was joint-top scorer and Peter Schmeichel was the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

Laudrup returned in 1993 and In the 1995 King Fahd Cup, the equivalent of the FIFA Confederations Cup, Denmark picked up their second major trophy. The Red and Whites defeated Argentina 2-0 in the final and Laudrup’s brother Brian won the Best Player trophy.

Denmark national football team was consistently punching above its weight as a small nation and made the quarterfinals of the 1998 World Cup. In the Laudrup Brothers’ last international match, Denmark fell 3-2 to Brazil.

At the 2002 World Cup, Denmark defeated defending champions France 2-0 in the group stage but were eliminated in the round of 16. Denmark missed out on the 2006 World Cup and failed to make it out of the group stage in 2010. They also missed the 2014 World Cup, which led to coach Morten Olsen’s dismissal.

2018-Present

Denmark didn’t manage to score much at the 2018 World Cup but they did grind out some important results to make the round of 16. The Danes defeated Peru 1-0 in their opener and drew 1-1 with Australia and 0-0 with France. Denmark faced eventual finalists Croatia in the round of 16 but didn’t go down without a fight. After a 1-1 draw, Croatia eliminated Denmark on penalties as Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic saved three PKs.

At Euro 2020, Kasper Hjulmand’s first tournament as coach, tragedy struck early. Key midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch in the opening match vs. Finland and was pronounced medically dead for a few minutes. With Eriksen in stable condition, the game went on after a postponement of nearly two hours.

The Danes lost the match 1-0 and with Eriksen indefinitely sidelined, also lost 2-1 to Belgium. Denmark demolished Russia 4-1 in their group stage finale and advanced as the group’s second place team, beating Finland and Russia out on goal difference.

Denmark were a team united after the terrifying scenes at their opening match and demolished Wales 4-0 in the round of 16. The Danes beat Czech Republic 2-1 in the quarterfinals, setting up a semifinals match vs. England. The match went into extra time but Harry Kane’s goal sent England to the final and ended Denmark’s incredible run.

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