June 16, 2021

Denmark, all about the team

The Danish dynamites. Or, less explosive and simpler, The Red-Whites (Les Rouge et Blanc, in French).

  • The calendar (French time)

June 12: Denmark-Finland, 6 p.m., in Copenhagen

June 17: Denmark-Belgium, 6 p.m., in Copenhagen

June 21: Denmark-Russia, 9 p.m., in Copenhagen

The first two of each group as well as the four best thirds qualify.

  • The team that should play (to be updated)

Kasper Schmeichel – Daniel Wass, Simon Kjær, Andreas Christensen, Jens Stryger Larsen – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen – Yussuf Poulsen, Martin Braithwaite – Kasper Dolberg.

Ninth participation in a final phase in sixteen editions. European Champion in 1992, to everyone’s surprise.

  • The coach: Kasper Hjulmand

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand on November 16, 2020.

In an almost normal world, Kasper Hjulmand should have started his mandate immediately after the Euro. He finally took office just before, as the Covid-19 postponed the competition for a year, initially scheduled for summer 2020.

This sports science graduate from the University of Copenhagen also attended that of Jacksonville (Florida), in the United States. Former Danish D1 player, the coach owes his record to years spent on the bench of FC Nordsjælland: two Danish Cups (2010 and 2011) and a league title (2012). The almost fifty-year-old coached this club in the city of Farum from 2008 to 2019. A long tenure barely interrupted by a few months spent in the German first division, in Mainz, an experience that was interrupted in the middle of the 2014-2015 season.

  • A player: Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel will have to multiply the parades if he wants to join the record of his father Peter, emblematic goalkeeper of the Danish selection and Manchester United in the 1990s.

Peter Schmeichel haunted the memory of many forwards. Like his son, Kasper Schmeichel, who plays in the same position: goalkeeper. The “junior” – now 34 years old anyway – measures almost the same height: 1.89 m, two centimeters shorter than the father. However, its track record remains much smaller.

Schmeichel father won the Euro with Denmark (1992), but also the Champions League with Manchester United (1999) or five English championships with the same Red Devils. Schmeichel son currently has two main lines: a title of champion of England with Leicester (2016) and an FA Cup won against Chelsea last May. After starting his professional career in the ranks of Manchester… City, the great rival of the father club.

  • It happened at the Euro

If the coronation of Greece, in 2004, belongs to the mythology of the Euro, the Danish victory of 1992 falls into the same category. That of the unlikely winners, of those that no one expected at the start. Think: the year of his coronation, a few weeks away from the launch of the competition in Sweden, the Danish selection was rather preparing… his vacation! It was counting without the rebounds of geopolitics.

Read also Back to… Denmark – Germany 1992: the story of the two Danish heroes

On May 30, 1992, in the midst of the Yugoslav conflict, the United Nations Organization decreed an embargo against Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia. The next day, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) excludes the Yugoslav selection from the future Euro. Denmark recovers the vacant place. Unexpected, as much as the final success of Schmeichel father, Brian Laudrup (the eldest of the siblings), John Jensen and their teammates: a victory (2-0) against Germany, reigning world champion, in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Like at home.

The aforementioned coronation of Denmark to the Euro dates exactly from June 26, 1992. Twenty-four days after the no to the Maastricht Treaty won in the country. On June 2 of that same year, the Scandinavian kingdom – a member of the European Union since 1973 – refused by referendum to accede to the treaty, by a narrow majority (50.7% of the vote). “Many Danes are afraid that Maastricht will lead to a loss of sovereignty and the impossibility for their national parliament to decide independently without interference from Brussels”, analyzed at the time The world.

Almost a year later, in May 1993, there was a new referendum, and this time a yes victory (56.7% of the vote): after having obtained concessions, in the meantime, during the so-called agreement of Edinburgh, Denmark ratifies the treaty.

The country and its 5.8 million inhabitants have already conquered Eurovision on three occasions: in 1963, in 2000 then in 2013. During the second coronation, it was thanks to the song Fly on the Wings of Love. A title performed by the Olsen brothers, Jorgen and Niels, aged 51 and 47 respectively. Never before have such established artists received such honor in the venerable history of the competition.

During competition, a food discipline is essential. Good open sandwiches will do very well. Rye bread, renowned for its nutritional virtues, can be enhanced with various dishes: marinated herring, smoked eel, or even meatballs (meatballs). Alternative to water, aquavit, with the necessary moderation.