A first-choice defender for Denmark at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Simon Kjær is in jeopardy of losing his place at UEFA EURO 2012 following an indifferent season with AS Roma, where he arrived on an extended loan from VfL Wolfsburg in August 2011. Courted by several big clubs as a youngster, he left his homeland after just one Danish Superligaen campaign.
• Born in Horsens, he developed fast with FC Midtjylland and the Danish Under-18 and U19 teams and made just 19 top-flight appearances for the Herning-based club before US Città di Palermo beat off the competition to take him to Sicily.
• Made his Serie A debut against ACF Fiorentina on 26 October 2008 and scored his first goal, against AC Chievo Verona, a week later; soon became a regular in the side and was rewarded at the end of his debut Italian campaign with his first senior cap for Denmark – as a replacement for the injured Per Krøldrup in a crucial FIFA World Cup qualifying win away to Sweden (1-0).
• Helped Denmark qualify for the World Cup in South Africa, where he played in the opening two games but collected yellow cards in both and thus missed the decisive third group match against Japan through suspension.
• An excellent 2009/10 Serie A campaign for Palermo, in which he made 35 starts and scored two goals, proved to be his last with the club as Wolfsburg lured him to Germany for a €10m-plus fee; his first Bundesliga goal, the winner against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 22 January 2011, brought manager Steve McClaren his last victory as Wolfsburg coach before he was replaced by Felix Magath.
• Returned to Italy and Roma on a season-long loan at the end of the summer 2011 transfer window, replacing AC Milan-bound Philippe Mexès, and started the wins against Norway (2-0), Cyprus (4-1) and Portugal (2-1) that sealed Denmark's UEFA EURO 2012 qualification.
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