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Snap shot: Denmark gatecrash EURO party

We look at the people involved in the final act of last-minute entrants Denmark's fairy-tale summer.

©Getty Images

Coach Richard Møller Nielsen was planning to decorate his kitchen when he got the call that Denmark had been invited, at very short notice, to replace Yugoslavia at EURO '92. It was the start of an incredible summer which peaked 11 minutes from time in the final against Germany – Kim Vilfort dispatching a firm low drive in off the post to secure the title.

Vilfort connects with his shot
Vilfort connects with his shot©Getty Images

1 Kim Vilfort
The adoration for Vilfort in the photo was indicative of what would come from the nation as a whole. The reigning Danish footballer of the year played every game bar the group match with France, which he missed in order to visit his daughter, seriously ill back home. He was arguably Denmark's best outfield player thereafter. Midfielder Vilfort won 77 caps and collected seven league titles with Brøndby, where he still works as head scout.

2 Torben Piechnik
Uncapped until Denmark's last EURO '92 qualifier, centre-half Piechnik stood in for the injured Kent Nielsen in the semi-final and, with Henrik Andersen then sidelined, retained his place for the showpiece. Piechnik joined Liverpool the following September but struggled to adapt. He landed the 1995/96 Danish Cup with AGF Århus – his solitary club honour – and ended with 15 caps. He has since worked in real estate and as a masseur.

Highlights: Denmark’s 1992 final glory
Highlights: Denmark’s 1992 final glory

3 Flemming Povlsen
Forced into retirement at 28 after tearing cruciate ligaments in both knees, Povlsen played 62 times for Denmark, netting 21 goals. The hard-working striker was a major influence at EURO '92, even if he did not score. His relentless effort, power and explosive acceleration unsettled defences – not least Germany's in the final. His opponents should have known all about him as Povlsen had come close to winning the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund a few weeks earlier. These days he is a television commentator and coach.

4 Kim Christofte
Christofte only won 19 caps but five came at EURO '92, where he was one of four Danish ever-presents. He was the left-sided central defender in a five-man rearguard until Andersen's knee injury forced a switch to left-back for the final. Christofte, the main penalty taker, had converted the decisive fifth kick to knock out the Netherlands. Three times a Danish champion with Brøndby, Christofte signed for Köln after EURO '92 yet retired through injury two years later. He has enjoyed international success since, though – as a poker player.

Kim Christofte celebrates
Kim Christofte celebrates©Getty Images

5 Lars Olsen
Denmark captain Olsen drove from Turkey to Scandinavia upon learning of his country's belated reinstatement in 1992. The centre-back's passion and leadership – playing every minute in Sweden – were key. Olsen was with Trabzonspor when he got the message, having moved a year earlier following a fabulous six-season shift at Brøndby that brought five league titles. The defender eventually rejoined the Copenhagen club and added another crown. He gained a record 69 caps as captain and moved into coaching, most recently with the Faroe Islands and Esbjerg.

6 Claus Christiansen
Christiansen had earned two caps before EURO '92 and managed only one after it, but he was there when it mattered most. He played an hour of the last-four triumph over the Dutch and 24 minutes in the decider against Germany, helping tee up Vilfort's clincher. The defender sealed his EURO spot when claiming the 1991/92 Danish title with Lyngby, his sole employers before he retired aged 28 to focus on a career outside football. He now owns a sportswear shop in Espergaerde.

Schmeichel on Denmark’s EURO ’92 glory
Schmeichel on Denmark’s EURO ’92 glory

7 John Jensen
Jensen had his major tournament debut at EURO '88 but it was in 1992 that he really made his mark. Ever-present, the industrious midfielder shot to stardom with a brilliant long-range strike that gave Denmark a shock early lead in the final. It was only his second goal in 48 internationals (he finished with four in 69). Jensen left Brøndby for Arsenal where he lifted the 1993 FA Cup. He sensationally steered village club Herfølge to the Danish championship as player-coach and had an interim spell as national coach in 2018.

8 Henrik Larsen
Midfielder Larsen registered half of Denmark's six goals at EURO '92 despite not starting until the final group fixture against France when, deputising for Vilfort, he notched the opener in a win that took them through. In the semi-final against the Netherlands he hit both Danish goals and also converted his spot kick in the shoot-out. Larsen, who had just helped Lyngby to the Danish title, failed to kick on. He retired in 1999 and now works in business as a sales director.

Highlights: Sweden v Denmark
Highlights: Sweden v Denmark

9 Brian Laudrup
Laudrup and brother Michael had refused selection after falling out with Møller Nielsen but, unlike Michael, Brian returned in spring 1992 and was rewarded when Denmark were handed a finals spot. The fleet-footed forward caught the eye and also excelled at the 1998 FIFA World Cup as Denmark reached the quarter-finals. He announced his international retirement aged 29, having scored 21 goals in 82 appearances. He is now a pundit and helps run an academy for marginalised youth.

10 Stefan Effenberg
Effenberg's Germany career effectively ended at the 1994 World Cup when he was sent home. Though he returned briefly four years later, the outspoken playmaker, who collected three successive Bundesliga titles and the 2001 UEFA Champions League with Bayern, retired with a mere 35 caps. After the final loss to Denmark, he played for Fiorentina and Borussia Mönchengladbach before hitting the heights back at Bayern. He now spends much of his time in the US but has had spells as coach of second-tier Paderborn and sporting director at third-tier Uerdingen.

Highlights: Dortmund v Juventus final
Highlights: Dortmund v Juventus final

11 Jürgen Kohler
One of the most effective man-markers in recent memory, Kohler won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany and the 1997 UEFA Champions League with Dortmund. There were also three Bundesliga championships and an Italian double with Juventus. The ex-Bayern defender intended to bow out after EURO '96 but was injured 14 minutes into the opening game and so carried on until the 1998 World Cup. He amassed 105 caps. He moved into coaching, and is on the staff at third-tier Viktoria Köln.

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