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UEFA EURO 2020 contenders in focus: Denmark

Denmark is the latest port of call on our cruise round the UEFA EURO 2020 contenders.

Denmark were shock EURO winners in 1992
Denmark were shock EURO winners in 1992

EURO pedigree

Previous final tournaments: 8
EURO best: winners (1992)

To every Dane – not only football fans – 1992 is immediately associated with one of the country's finest hours. It was a summer in which Richard Møller Nielsen's Denmark team surprised everyone – perhaps including themselves – by lifting the EURO trophy in Sweden. The images from Copenhagen city centre, the songs, the goals from John ‘Faxe' Jensen and Kim Vilfort, the saves from Peter Schmeichel; there are enough treasured memories to last a lifetime.

Key players

Every goal on Denmark's road to EURO 2020

Christian Eriksen (103 caps, 36 goals)
Denmark's creative focal point. Eriksen will only be 29 by the time EURO rolls around but already has more than a century of caps and a whole lot of international experience. He'll remain vital to Kasper Hjulmand's plans regardless of any shortage of playing time at club level.

Kasper Schmeichel (60 caps)
Denmark's long-time goalkeeper has shown himself to have broad enough shoulders to assume his father's considerable legacy. He is a commanding figure and a world-class keeper who ensures the Danes are always hard to beat when between the posts.

Memorable EURO goals

• When Jensen stroked the ball past Germany's Bodo Illgner in the 1992 final, he scored without doubt the most iconic goal in the country's history.

Watch Jensen's memorable Denmark final strike

• In 1984, Denmark qualified for the semi-finals after beating Belgium 3-2. The Danes were trailing 2-0, but fought back to record a memorable win; Preben Elkjær's lob over Jean-Marie Pfaff was the crowning moment.

• How memorable can a penalty be? Just ask Kim Christofte. He converted the decisive spot kick in the shoot-out against holders the Netherlands in the 1992 semi-finals – one of the most important goals ever scored by the Danish senior team.

Memorable moments

• The footage of Denmark striker Flemming Povlsen drowning in tears as he lifted the trophy in Gothenburg is a beautiful moment that remains imprinted in the mind of millions of Danes.

• When Henrik Andersen went to EURO '92 he was at the peak of his powers, only for a horrific knee injury against the Netherlands to stop him in his tracks and, ultimately, end his career. The reaction of the players on the pitch told the spectators watching on that this was not an ordinary injury – a horrid moment.

• Spain have proved to be Denmark's bogey team over the years. It all started in June 1984, when one of their brightest stars, Preben Elkjær, fired his penalty high over the bar in the semi-final shoot-out defeat by La Roja.


Watch Denmark semi-final winning EURO 92 penalty

Most final tournament appearances
13: Peter Schmeichel
10: Michael Laudrup, John Sivebæk
9: Thomas Helveg

Most final tournament goals
3: Jon Dahl Tomasson, Brian Laudrup, Henrik Larsen, Frank Arnesen

Killer stat: Vilfort's goal against Germany in the 1992 final was the 200th in the history of EURO.

Did you know?

• Denmark jointly hold the EURO record for most individual goalscorers for one team in a single match. Frank Arnesen (2), Klaus Berggreen, Preben Elkjær and John Lauridsen all struck against Yugoslavia in the 5-0 win in the 1984 group stage.

• Denmark are the only nation to have lost all three group games at two separate final tournaments (1988 and 2000).

• EURO '92 was the first major final tournament in which players' shirts bore their names as well as their numbers, from one to twenty.

UEFA.tv: Denmark's memorable win