EURO 1992: all you need to know

Late additions to the finals line-up, Denmark caused a huge stir in Sweden.

Peter Schmeichel celebrates Denmark's UEFA EURO 1992 triumph
Peter Schmeichel celebrates Denmark's UEFA EURO 1992 triumph Getty Images

Who won the 1992 EURO?

Denmark defied the odds to beat the newly-reunified Germany 2-0 in the 1992 UEFA European Championship final on 26 June 1992. Late additions to the line-up, as replacements for Yugoslavia, the Danes scraped through the group stage, overcame holders Netherlands in the semi-finals on penalties, and were on the back foot throughout the final at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. However, John Jensen and Kim Vilfort scored against the run of play to get the win. Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel remembered: "It really sank in when we were in Copenhagen in the town hall for the celebrations with the rest of Denmark. At this point you're thinking: 'Christ, we actually did this – it's not a dream.'"

Who were the top scorers at the 1992 EURO?

Four players finished level on three goals after EURO '92:

Dennis Bergkamp weaves through the Danes
Dennis Bergkamp weaves through the DanesPopperfoto via Getty Images

Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands)
Tomas Brolin (Sweden)
Henrik Larsen (Denmark)
Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany)

The top scorer in qualifying had been Yugoslavia's Darko Pancev with ten goals. Nicknamed 'The Cobra', the striker left Crvena zvezda for Inter Milan in summer 1992, having been denied the chance to play at the EURO by the break-up of Yugoslavia. He went on to represent North Macedonia, and after retirement set up a café in Skopje called Devetka (Nine) in honour of the shirt he wore during his playing career.

Where was the 1992 EURO held?

Sweden hosted the eight-team final tournament, with the action focused on four stadiums; the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg staged five games (including a semi-final and the final), while four took place at the Råsunda in Stockholm (including a semi-final). Norrkoping's Idrottsparken and Malmö Stadium in Malmo were both venues for three group stage fixtures.

Who managed the winning team at the 1992 EURO?

Richard Møller Nielsen was not first choice to take charge of Denmark when he replaced Sepp Piontek in 1990; nor did he endear himself to some more skilful members of the squad by putting the focus on defence for the national team. However, after Denmark substituted Yugoslavia at late notice, 'Ricardo' – who died in 2014 – steadied his side and set them up for their greatest success. "It was a great honour to play under him," said midfielder John Jensen. "He made the right decisions at the right times."

Who was the winning captain at the 1992 EURO?

Highlights: The best goals of EURO '92
Highlights: The best goals of EURO '92

Central defender Lars Olsen wore the armband for Denmark at the 1992 UEFA European Championship, having figured in the side that played at the 1988 finals. He came to Sweden fresh from lifting the Turkish Cup in his lone full season at Trabzonspor, and left for Belgium's Seraing afterwards. He has since managed many of Denmark's top clubs and was in charge of the Faroe Islands' national team from 2011–19.

What was the format for the 1992 EURO?

Staged from 10–26 June, the 1992 EURO was the ninth edition of the competition and the last to feature an eight-team group stage. The group winners (Sweden and Netherlands) faced the runners-up from the other groups in the semi-finals (Germany and Denmark). There was no third-place play-off.

How many teams featured in the 1992 EURO?

Eight teams competed at the finals while 34 participated in qualifying (the Faroe Islands and Liechtenstein featuring for the first time). Sweden qualified for the finals automatically as hosts. German reunification took place during the qualifying tournament, meaning East Germany withdrew and West Germany competed as Germany. The Soviet Union broke up after its national team qualified for the finals as Group 3 winners; in the event, the same team (representing 12 post-Soviet republics) took part in Sweden as the CIS (Confederation of Independent States).

How did 1992 EURO qualifying work?

The 34 would-be qualifiers were split into seven groups; six initially comprising five teams and the final group consisting of four. Group 5 became a four-team group following the withdrawal of East Germany, with West Germany renamed Germany after reunification. In principle, the seven group winners joined hosts Sweden in the final. In practice, Group 4 winners Yugoslavia were suspended from international football in May 1992, with their place at the finals going to section runners-up Denmark.

EURO countdown: Watch Jensen's thunderbolt at EURO 92
EURO countdown: Watch Jensen's thunderbolt at EURO 92

Who was in the 1992 EURO team of the tournament?

GK: Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)
DF: Jocelyn Angloma (France)
DF: Laurent Blanc (France)
DF: Andreas Brehme (Germany)
DF: Jürgen Kohler (Germany)
MF: Ruud Gullit (Netherlands
MF: Brian Laudrup (Denmark)
MF: Stefan Effenberg (Germany)
MF: Thomas Hässler (Germany)
FW: Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands)
FW: Marco van Basten (Netherlands)

Who scored the first goal at the 1992 EURO?

Jan Eriksson did not get off the bench at the 1990 FIFA World Cup but made immediate amends at EURO '92, heading the first goal of the finals from Anders Limpar's cross 24 minutes into Sweden's opening game against France (which ended 1-1). He scored again at the finals, equalising against England in a game that his side went on to win 2-1.

Curiously, Arnór Gudjohnsen had struck 41 minutes into Iceland's home match against Albania on 30 May 1990 to ensure that the first goal of 1992 EURO qualifying was registered long before the 1990 World Cup had even kicked off. Arnór Gudjohnsen is perhaps most famous as the father of future Chelsea striker Eidur; at 17, Eidur famously came on as a substitute for his father (then 34) in an April 1996 international against Estonia.

Five top facts about the 1992 EURO

Scotland made their first EURO finals appearance  in 1992
Scotland made their first EURO finals appearance in 1992Popperfoto via Getty Images

• Denmark's triumph came days after a referendum decision to stay out of the European Union. Foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen observed: "If you can't join them, beat them."

• The Danes' success was all the more remarkable considering there had not been any professional clubs in Denmark until 1986, when Brøndby were the first to abandon amateur football.

• Scotland had qualified for every World Cup since 1974 but the tournament in Sweden marked their first UEFA European Championship finals appearance.

• France became the first team to claim a perfect record in a UEFA European Championship qualifying group, winning eight out of eight in a section including Spain.

• The 1992 UEFA European Championship in Sweden was the first major final tournament in which players' shirts bore their names as well as their numbers, from 1 to 20.

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