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Denmark national football team

The Denmark national football team (Football at the 1906 Intercalated Games and silver medalists at the 1908 and 1912 Olympics. However, as amateurs who prohibited their internationals from becoming professionals at foreign clubs, Denmark did not qualify for the World Cup until 1986, although they won another Olympic silver in 1960.

Since 1983, the team has continuously been visible as a solidly competitive side, with the triumph in the 1992 European Championships in Sweden as its most prominent victory, beating the European champions from Netherlands in the semifinal, and the World champions from Germany in the final. They also managed to win the 1995 Confederations Cup, defeating Argentina in the final. Their best FIFA World Cup result was achieved in 1998, where they narrowly lost 3–2 in a quarter-final against Brazil.


  • Teams 1
  • History 2
    • Amateur years 2.1
    • Danish Dynamite (1980–1990) 2.2
    • 1992 European Championship Victory 2.3
    • Decline and Revival (1993–2000) 2.4
    • The Olsen Gang (2000–present) 2.5
      • Overall statistics for The Olsen Gang 2.5.1
  • Supporters 3
  • Kit 4
    • Kit history 4.1
  • Media coverage 5
  • Stadium 6
  • Competitive record 7
    • FIFA World Cup 7.1
    • Summer Olympics (unofficial) 7.2
    • Summer Olympics (official) 7.3
    • European Championship 7.4
    • FIFA Confederations Cup 7.5
  • Honours 8
    • Major titles 8.1
    • Minor titles 8.2
  • Recent results and forthcoming fixtures 9
    • 2014 9.1
    • 2015 9.2
    • 2016 9.3
    • 2017 9.4
  • Standings 10
    • UEFA Euro 2016 qualification 10.1
      • Group I 10.1.1
  • Players 11
    • Payment 11.1
    • Player names and numbers 11.2
  • Squad 12
    • Current squad 12.1
    • Recent call-ups 12.2
    • Previous squads 12.3
    • Best players of all time 12.4
    • Hall of Fame 12.5
  • Teams 13
  • History 14
    • Amateur years 14.1
  • Player records 15
    • Most appearances 15.1
    • Top scorers 15.2
  • Coaching staff 16
    • Managers 16.1
  • See also 17
  • References 18
  • Literature 19
  • External links 20


Apart from the men's senior A-level team, Denmark competes with a women's national team, and has teams at various youth levels for both men and women, most prominently the U21 national team. Historically, the A-level team competed in the Olympics until and including the 1988 tournament, whereafter Olympic games count as U21 national games. In addition to the A-level team and youth teams, Denmark also have a special league national team named Ligalandsholdet, with the best Danish footballers from the Nordic leagues. Ligalandsholdet was created in January 1983, and has ever since (except in 2005 and 2011), each year played some unofficial games for the national team, during the winter break of the Nordic leagues. Sometimes the media also refer to Ligalandsholdet as Denmark's B-team, as the best Danish footballers selected for the A-team often play in leagues outside of the Nordic countries. As such, the national team coach also at several times, outlined the purpose of having unofficial matches played by Ligalandsholdet, to be an opportunity of testing new potential upcoming Danish players for the A-team.


Amateur years

The Danish team that won their first Silver Medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics.
Danish team, winning the Silver medals at the 1912 Olympics.

The first three editions of the Olympic football event in 1900–1906 had an unofficial status, as the event was not yet open for national football teams to compete, and only had limited participation of three or four club teams from a few nations. Denmark had no club team invited in the 1900 Olympics and the 1904 Olympics, but then received a special invitation for the 1906 Olympics, to compete against 1 Greek club team (Athens) and 2 club teams from the Ottoman Empire (Smyrna and Thessaloniki). The team to represent Denmark was compiled of players from the Copenhagen Football Association (KBU), and they managed to win the event, and thereby an unofficial gold medal. Two years later, in the first official football tournament at the 1908 Olympics, Denmark won a silver medal. At the next 1912 Olympics the team again managed to win a silver medal, which was followed by a golden era from April 1914 until April 1920, with Denmark ranked most of the time as number one in the world by the elo ranking.

Although Denmark figured fairly prominently in the pre-World Cup era, international success would elude them for years from the first World Cup in 1930 and forward. Despite the country's ability to produce outstanding football talents, DBU only had ambition (or economy) to let the national team play friendly matches and the regional tournament Nordic Championship, during the time from October 1920 until June 1948. When DBU decided to set their sights higher, they allowed the national team to start contesting the Olympics again, this promptly resulted in a bronze medal at the 1948 Olympics. After the team only reached the quarter-final at the 1952 Olympics, DBU however decided not to contest the next 1956 Olympics. As football remained an amateur pastime, most of the best Danish footballers moved abroad to make a living,[1] and due to DBU enforcing the rule to bar all professionals from the national team, it started to become difficult to assemble a highly competitive team.

Denmark experienced their next revival at the 1960 Olympics, with a third set of Olympic silver medals. This was followed by another notable performance in the Euro 1964, where Denmark managed to achieve an impressive fourth place. The fourth place was however by many people considered as being more the result of a comparatively easy draw, rather than a result of a well-playing team. In order for Denmark to qualify for the semifinal, they only had to beat nations like Malta, Albania and Luxembourg. At the semifinal, Denmark received a clear 0–3 defeat against the Soviet Union, and then finally also lost the bronze match to Hungary.

The strict rule of only allowing amateurism at the national team was finally abolished by DBU in May 1971, as they had acknowledged this change was needed, in order to build a highly competitive team. In February 1978, when DBU also decided to allow professional football to be introduced in the Danish leagues, the way was at the same time paved for the national team, to sign its first sponsorship with the well-known Danish brewery Carlsberg. The new sponsorship enabled DBU, to hire Sepp Piontek from Germany in July 1979, as the first full-time professional coach of the national football team. The full transition of the national team from amateurism to professionalism had now been accomplished, and indeed, this would soon lead to a vast improvement in the performances of the team.[1]

According to Rob Smyth and Lars Eriksen, authors of a 2009 book on the "Danish Dynamite" team that would soon emerge:
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