Having selected a team camp by the Baltic Sea, tucked away in a distant corner of Poland, Denmark have not exactly been inundated with foreign press – until yesterday, at least.
You cannot blame the camera crews and journalists for not being here earlier: everyone expected the Netherlands to beat Denmark. It would all be business as usual, with nothing to see here. But now, all of a sudden, there is.
Last week, the 29-year-old winger Michael Krohn-Dehli and goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, 30, had never played a match at a major finals tournament. Now, in the autumn of their careers, they have. Players like Christian Eriksen, Nicklas Bendtner and Daniel Agger, once in the media spotlight, have stepped into the shadows.
So what's the story with these two? They are actually quite similar. Both were marked for great things as youngsters but initially failed to realise that promise and looked to have missed the boat at international level. Both endured long spells as substitutes early in their club careers, before each was revived by a move to Brøndby IF.
Krohn-Dehli actually started at Brøndby before switching to the academy at AFC Ajax. He caught the eye of RKC Waalwijk, impressing in a two-year spell there, yet his progress stalled on his return to Amsterdam. In 2008 he got things going again, rejuvenated by a transfer to Brøndby where he immediately became a regular, gaining more and more prominence until his goal on Saturday lifted him to a whole new sphere.
The young Andersen also struggled in foreign climes as understudy to the likes of Dean Kiely, Thomas Myhre and Scott Carson at Charlton Athletic FC. He headed home to Denmark in 2007 with Brøndby and after four years rebuilding his career he set out on his travels again, this time to French side Évian Thonon Gaillard FC, soon establishing himself as No1. Injury to Thomas Sørensen on the eve of the finals gave him his chance here.
And that's the story. Two players, who had to wait until they were 25 before establishing themselves at club level, have taken UEFA EURO 2012 by storm. Proof that it's never too late to fulfil your dreams.
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