(The Red and White)
|Association||Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU)|
|Head coach||Kasper Hjulmand|
|Most caps||Peter Schmeichel (129)|
|Top scorer||Poul Nielsen (52)|
|Home stadium||Parken Stadium|
|Current||16 (11 June 2020)|
|Highest||3 (May 1997, August 1997)|
|Lowest||51 (April 2017)|
| Denmark 9–0 France B |
(London, England; 19 October 1908)
| Denmark 17–1 France |
(London, England; 22 October 1908)
| Germany 8–0 Denmark |
(Breslau, Germany; 16 May 1937)
|Appearances||5 (first in 1986)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (1998)|
|Appearances||9 (first in 1964)|
|Best result||Champions (1992)|
|Appearances||1 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Champions (1995)|
The Denmark men's national football team (Danish: Danmarks fodboldlandshold) represents Denmark in men's international football competition, and is controlled by the Danish Football Union (DBU), the governing body for the football clubs which are organized under DBU. Denmark's home stadium is Parken Stadium in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen, and their head coach is Kasper Hjulmand.
Denmark were the winners of the 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 FIFA 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 Championship in Sweden as its most prominent victory, defeating defending champions the Netherlands in the semi-final and Germany in the final. They also won the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup, defeating Argentina in the final. Their best World Cup result was achieved in 1998, where they narrowly lost 3–2 in a quarter-final against Brazil. Denmark also made the second round in 1986, 2002 and 2018.
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 under-21 national team. Historically, the A-level team competed in the Olympics until and including the 1988 tournament, whereafter Olympic games count as under-21 national games. In addition to the A-level team and youth teams, Denmark also has a special league national team named Ligalandsholdet, with the best Danish footballers from the Nordic leagues. Ligalandsholdet was created in January 1983, and has played unofficial games for the national team during the winter break of the Nordic leagues every year since, save for 2005 and 2011. 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 has on several occasions outlined the purpose of having unofficial matches played by Ligalandsholdet as an opportunity of testing new potential upcoming Danish players for the A-team.
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 one Greek club team (Athens) and two 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 won 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 Olympics, in 1912, the team again won a silver medal, which was followed by a golden era from July 1912 until August 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-FIFA 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, the Danish Football Union (DBU) only had the ambition (or economy) to send the national team to play friendly matches and in the regional tournament, the Nordic Championship, from October 1920 until June 1948. When DBU opted to set their sights higher, they allowed the national team to start contesting the Olympics again, promptly resulting in a bronze medal at the 1948 Olympics. After, the team only reached the quarter-final at the 1952 Olympics, with the DBU choosing not to contest the next 1956 Olympics. As football remained an amateur past-time, most of the best Danish footballers moved abroad to make a living, 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 at the 1964 European Nations' Cup, where Denmark impressively finished in fourth place. However, this finish was considered by many 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 semi-final, they only had to defeat Malta, Albania and Luxembourg. In the semi-final, Denmark fell 0–3 to the Soviet Union, then lost the bronze match to Hungary.
The strict rule of only allowing amateurism at the national team was finally abolished by the DBU in May 1971, as they had acknowledged this change was needed in order to build a highly competitive team. In February 1978, when the 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 the DBU to hire the German Sepp Piontek in July 1979 as the first full-time professional coach of the national 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.
According to Rob Smyth and Lars Eriksen, authors of a 2009 book on the "Danish Dynamite" team that would soon emerge:
That process [the transition to professionalism] was accelerated by the fact that so many of the national team were playing abroad, and values learned there were slowly seeping in. ... Denmark got a headstart on football globalisation, benefiting from the enlightenment and experience that comes with playing abroad. At Euro 84, their 20-man squad contained 14 overseas-based players; the other seven teams had only five between them. At Mexico 86, their squad included players from the champions of Italy, West Germany, England, Holland and Belgium, but not Denmark.
In the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification, Denmark finished with eight points from eight matches, including a 3–1 win against the eventual World Cup champions Italy, but Denmark failed to qualify for the final tournament despite the impressive result. Qualification for UEFA Euro 1984 saw Denmark defeat England at Wembley Stadium when Allan Simonsen converted a penalty kick for a 1–0 win. Denmark qualified for their first international tournament since 1964, and the team was dubbed "Danish Dynamite" in a competition for the official Danish Euro 1984 song. Denmark's participation ended in the semi-final when the team lost on penalties to Spain, most remembered for Preben Elkjær's penalty miss, his shorts torn apart. Following the strong performance at the finals, the name "Danish Dynamite" became a mainstay for the following decade of the Danish national team under head coach Sepp Piontek.
Denmark made their first World Cup appearance in the 1986 World Cup, and with the attacking duo of Michael Laudrup and Preben Elkjær, the team surprised the world, sweeping the group, including a 6–1 thrashing of Uruguay. In the second round, Denmark once again faced Spain and once more lost, receiving a trashing of their own, losing 5–1, including four goals by Emilio Butragueño. The first Spanish goal was caused by a miss-timed backpass by Jesper Olsen to Butragueño, an unfortunate action subsequently coined as "a real Jesper Olsen" ("en rigtig Jesper Olsen"). The phrase would live on for 13 years, and was repeated by the Danish TV commentators in 1999, when an identical backpass was carried out by Jesper Grønkjær to Filippo Inzaghi in Grønkjær's debut for the national team.
After the glory days of 1986, the success of the team continued, as it first qualified for Euro 1988, and then had a nearby qualification for the 1988 Olympics. In the qualification group for the Olympics, the job to coach Denmark in these particular games, had for the first time been given to Richard Møller Nielsen, and he proved his skills, as Denmark initially secured a spot for the final tournament – ahead of West Germany. But following the discovery that Dane Per Frimann was not eligible for the team's 2–0 win over Poland, Denmark was penalised the points of the win, and subsequently did not have enough points to qualify. After this disappointing news had arrived, Denmark had to pin all its hope and faith for a successful performance at Euro 1988. However, the opposite happened, as Denmark's participation ended in early defeat after Denmark lost all the group games to Spain, West Germany and Italy. A period of transition with faltering results had now started, and as Denmark subsequently also failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup, Sepp Piontek resigned as head coach of the national team in April 1990, where he was replaced by his assistant, Richard Møller Nielsen.
The first goal for the newly appointed Nielsen was to qualify for the Euro 1992 in Sweden. Denmark began with a secure home victory against the Faroe Islands, but the following results in the qualification were an away draw against Northern Ireland and a 2–0 home loss against Yugoslavia. Due to the poor start, as well as a strong disagreement with the coach about the new defensive team tactics, the two best Danish footballers at the time, Michael Laudrup and Brian Laudrup, opted to quit the national team in November 1990. When Nielsen subsequently decided to dismiss quality players such as Jan Mølby and Jan Heintze from the squad, due to disciplinary problems, several newspapers began demanding that Nielsen step down as head coach, as the team was clearly falling apart under his influence. Despite this strong criticism, Denmark won the rest of their five matches in the qualification group, including a 2–1 away win against Yugoslavia. However, this strong comeback was not enough to qualify, as the team still had to settle with a second place in the group, behind Yugoslavia.
What initially appeared to be a failed qualification would soon turn out to become Denmark's finest hour in the international competitions. Due to international sanctions resulting from the Yugoslav wars, UEFA announced on 31 May 1992 – only ten days prior to the competition – that Yugoslavia was to be excluded from the competition and their place given to Denmark, who finished as the second-placed team in its qualifying group.
Contrary to popular belief, the team did not enter the tournament completely unprepared, after having rallied home from seaside vacations. The majority of players were already assembled to play a friendly match against the CIS when Denmark officially received Yugoslavia's spot. Relying heavily on goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and his defence, as well as creative spark Brian Laudrup – having decided to make a comeback for the national team in April 1992 – the Danish team created one of the biggest surprises in the event's history, as they went on to win the European Championship trophy under head coach Nielsen's defensive playing style. Advancing from the group stage ahead of England and France, Denmark defeated the Netherlands – the defending Euro 1988 champions – on penalties in the semi-final. Then, in the final, Denmark won 2–0 win against reigning World Cup champions Germany, ensuring Denmark won its first international trophy.
In August 1993, one year after the Euro 1992 win, Michael Laudrup decided to settle his ongoing dispute with Richard Møller Nielsen about the team tactics and made a comeback to the national team. However, the following years Denmark saw mixed results, as they first failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, but then won the 1995 Confederations Cup, beating Copa América champions Argentina 2–0 in the final. As defending champions at Euro 1996, Denmark was not able to continue its previous success, but disappointed with a lacklustre performance after an early elimination in the group stage. Results-wise, the tournament was not a complete disaster, as the team had achieved a respectable win against Turkey, a draw against Portugal and only a defeat to Croatia. The reason why both the coach and team faced strong criticism after the tournament was mainly because of the defensive and "boring" playing style. As controversy previously had occurred in fall 1995 over the DBU's decision to extend Richard Møller Nielsen's contract as head coach, there was a strained relationship to the press already ahead of Euro 1996. Facing a new wave of criticism, Nielsen reached a mutual agreement with the DBU to terminate his contract by the end of June 1996.
Nielsen's replacement was the sympathetic Swede, Bo "Bosse" Johansson, who gave the team a more offensive strategy, and the 1998 World Cup saw the revival of the Danish team, starring both Laudrup brothers in their last international campaign. After defeating Saudi Arabia 1–0, drawing with South Africa and losing 2–1 to eventual champions France in mediocre matches, the Danish team qualified to the knockout stages as second in the group. In the next match, however, Denmark played some of the best football of the entire tournament, beating Nigeria 4–1 in a fantastic game. In the quarter-final against Brazil, the Danes went out with a beautiful 2–3 defeat to the later silver medalists in a very close and emotional game.
Johansson's next challenge was to qualify Denmark for Euro 2000, for the first time without the Laudrup brothers. When this goal was achieved by Johansson, he received significant praise. However, at the tournament proper, Denmark disappointed with three losses in the group stage. Johansson was heavily criticized for his squad selection, which containing several players with injury problems and in poor form.
The new coach, starting for Denmark in July 2000, turned out to be the former national team captain from the successful team of the 1980s, Morten Olsen, and the team was quickly dubbed the "Olsen Gang", a reference to the series of Danish movies based around the main character Egon Olsen and his genius (criminal) plans. The nickname was also sometimes used for the Danish team as an alternative to the more commonly used "Danish Dynamite", already in those days when Olsen played as a captain. In the era with Olsen as a coach, his great experience from among others Ajax was transferred to the national team, as Denmark's tactics shifted from the preferred 4–4–2 formation practised by Bo Johansson, to an even more attacking style with an emphasis on the speedy wingers available at the time, namely Jesper Grønkjær and Dennis Rommedahl. Accordingly, the Olsen's preferred formation has been either a 4–3–3 or a 4–2–3–1. Olsen even possessed an outspoken opposition to the 4–4–2 system, as he threatened to leave his position as head coach in the event he was asked to deploy Denmark in that formation. To support the development of players for the new tactical 4–3–3 system, all national youth teams also changed their formation. Another change Olsen brought to the national team was to stress the importance of only using fit players who had been granted regular playing time at their club. However, at times he was forced to compromise from this principle, as the pool of players available in the relatively small nation did not always provide him viable substitute options.
Denmark qualified both for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, but despite impressive results in the group stage in both tournaments, especially the 2–0 win against reigning World Cup winners France in 2002, Denmark did not manage to advance any further, and in both tournaments were clearly defeated with a score of 0–3 in the first round after the group stage. At the 2002 World Cup, Denmark was defeated by England in the round of 16, and at Euro 2004, they were eliminated in the quarter-finals against the Czech Republic. Euro 2004 will also be remembered for an incident in the group stage match against Italy, where Italy star Francesco Totti was caught on camera spitting on Christian Poulsen, then subsequently the joint elimination of Italy by Denmark and Sweden in the last group stage match, when the two teams drew 2–2 following a Swedish goal in the 89th minute, making for the exact and famous result that would see the Italians eliminated.
For the 2006 World Cup qualification, Denmark was paired with, among others, 2002 World Cup bronze winners Turkey and Euro 2004 champions Greece competing for only one guaranteed spot at the final tournament. Following a poor start of the qualification, Denmark was trailing both Turkey and surprise leaders Ukraine. Denmark needed Turkey to lose points in the final games in order for Denmark to clinch the second place of the group and one last chance to qualify via two playoff games. Indeed, had Turkey dropped points to Albania in their last match, Denmark would have gone through, but instead, they had to settle for third place in the group and a longer summer break. After failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Morten Olsen considered leaving the job, having received several offers from club teams, but decided to stay and extended his contract until after the 2010 World Cup, spurred on by his and the team's popularity among the Danish population.
When Denmark's attempt to qualify for the Euro 2008 also failed – after among other things, to have received an administrative defeat against Sweden at home turf due to a spectator's intrusion on the field – the team was heavily criticized, with many Danes asking for the departure of Morten Olsen as a coach. This suggestion was however refused by the DBU and the majority of coaches in the Danish Superliga, who still had trust in Olsen being the best coach for Denmark. In the qualification group for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the trust in Olsen was immediately paid back. Despite a difficult group with both Portugal and Sweden as higher-ranked opponents, Denmark qualified for the 2010 World Cup by winning the group, after among other things, earning two wins against Sweden and one win and one draw against Portugal. After having celebrated the successful World Cup 2010 qualification, Olsen's contract as head coach was extended for two further years, until the Euro 2012.
At the 2010 World Cup, Denmark was grouped with Japan, Cameroon and the Netherlands. Denmark lost the first match 2–0 to Netherlands, but then had a vital 2–1 victory against Cameroon, which enabled further advancement in case of victory over Japan, in the last third match. The game against Japan however ended with a 3–1 defeat, and thereby Denmark did not reach their objective of advancing to the round of 16. Apparently the biggest reason for the lack of success, was however this time, that Denmark in both the preface – and during the three games at the tournament – had struggled with a lot of injuries hitting their best players. However, Denmark wouldn't wait for long to please the Danish public once again. In the qualification for Euro 2012, Denmark was once again grouped with Portugal, among other countries. For a second time, Denmark clinched first place in the group, and thereby qualified directly for the final tournament. Out of eight qualifying matches, Denmark won six, drew one and lost one. Mostly because of these results, the DBU extended Olsen's contract until after the 2014 World Cup.
At Euro 2012, Denmark were drawn in the proclaimed "Group of death", Group B, alongside powerhouses Germany, Netherlands and Portugal. Few gave Denmark a chance of proceeding to the second round before the tournament, but after upsetting Netherlands with a 1–0 victory, there was cause for optimism in the Danish camp. However, a narrow 3–2 loss to Portugal meant Denmark would effectively need to defeat Germany in the last match to advance in the tournament. Despite Michael Krohn-Dehli's equaliser, Denmark lost 2–1 to neighbours Germany, and with Portugal defeating the Netherlands 2–1 in the other match, Denmark was eliminated from the tournament after finishing third in Group B. Denmark was mostly praised after the tournament, considering Denmark had exceeded expectations and were close to advancing to the knockout stages despite being drawn in a difficult group.
Denmark failed to qualify for the next two tournaments under Olsen. They finished second in their 2014 World Cup qualifying group but failed to achieve a play-off berth as they were the "worst" of the UEFA group runners-up (after excluding results against the bottom teams). In UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying they finished third in their group, behind Albania and eventual winners Portugal, but lost to Sweden in the play-offs.
When measuring the performance of the national team by winning share and earned points, Olsen's reign of the Danish national team from July 2000 until January 2012 has so far been the second-most successful in the era of full-time professional coaches, which began in July 1979. As of January 2012, Olsen had a winning share of 52.8%, and with three points for a victory and one for a draw, an average of 1.84 points per match. In comparison, Richard Møller Nielsen still has the best record among the professional coaches of the national team, with a 54.8% winning share and an average of 1.89 points per game.
New coach Åge Hareide presided over the Danish campaign during the qualification stages. Denmark, ranked number 24 in the FIFA World Rankings at the time of the draw, were drawn into Group E, alongside Poland, Montenegro, Romania, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. Despite suffering early defeats to Poland and Montenegro, the Danes rallied, and secured second place in the group, and a berth in the play-offs, with a 1–0 away to Montenegro. Denmark were rewarded for their second-place finish with a play-off against the Republic of Ireland. Denmark secured qualification with a 5–1 win at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, which included a hat-trick of goals from Christian Eriksen, who added to his tally of eight goals in qualification.
Denmark were allocated into Pot 3 in advance of the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They were drawn into Group C, alongside Australia, Peru, and eventual champions France. Their campaign in Russia began in the Mordovia Arena, Saransk, against CONMEBOL side Peru. A Yussuf Poulsen goal in the second half secured three points for the Danes, leaving them well poised for qualification from the group. However, they struggled against Australia in their second tie, as Christian Eriksen's early goal was cancelled out by a VAR-awarded penalty, converted by Mile Jedinak, in a game which ended as a 1–1 draw. Denmark secured qualification in their final group game, playing out a limp goalless draw, the only such game of the entire tournament, in the Luzhniki Stadium against France; a result which saw both teams progress.
Denmark faced Croatia in the round of 16, with the Croats having claimed victory in Group D with three consecutive wins. Mathias Jørgensen scored within the first minute of the game to give Denmark the lead, but Mario Mandzukic equalised only three minutes later, leaving the teams equally perched at one goal apiece. The match remained at 1–1 after ninety minutes, necessitating thirty minutes of extra-time, which still failed to separate the teams, as Luka Modric saw his late penalty saved by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. As such, the tie was to be decided with a penalty shoot-out, with Schmeichel and his Croatian counterpart, Danijel Subašić, positioning themselves on the line to face five penalties each. Despite Schmeichel making two saves, it was Croatia who progressed, as Subašić saved three shots from Eriksen, Lasse Schöne and Nicolai Jørgensen respectively. Ivan Rakitić scored the decisive penalty to eliminate the Danes, putting an end to their best World Cup campaign since 2002, when they were eliminated at the same stage.
Following the World Cup, Denmark prepared for participation in the inaugural iteration of the UEFA Nations League, having been drawn in League B against Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The tournament offers an alternative route of qualification for the European Championship, and increases the number of competitive games for international sides, replacing friendlies.
Owing to a dispute with the players' union regarding the commercial rights of the players, the Danish Football Union named an entirely uncapped squad, consisting of a mixture of futsal players and players from the Danish 2nd Division and the Denmark Series (the third and fourth tier of Danish football respectively), in lieu of the regular side, to face Slovakia in a pre-Nations League friendly, and it was feared that the same squad would be used for the competitive fixture against Wales. The dispute arose due to the image rights of the players, with Hummel having the exclusive right to the manufacture and marketing of Danish kits. The DBU wanted to use individual players, without explicit permissions, in their advertising. Hareide would similarly not be involved, with the side instead falling under the temporary management of John Jensen, with Hasse Kuhn serving as the assistant manager. The Danish FA are currently under a four-year probationary period with UEFA for having forfeited a Women's World Cup qualification game against Sweden in 2017 due to a similar dispute with the women's team, and a further violation could result in Denmark being prohibited from participation in either the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League or the 2020 European Championship. After a temporary agreement enabled the return of the regular players, the Danes won their first Nations League fixture 2–0.
Hareide managed Denmark during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying and got four wins and four draws resulting in a second place, which meant that Denmark qualified for the tournament. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the tournament was postponed to 2021, and Hareide's contract expired on 30 June 2020. He was repaced by Kasper Hjulmand.
Apart from the national team, Denmark is equally famous for its traveling fans, known as roligans. The movement emerged during the 1980s as the declared opposition to hooliganism. The goal of the roligan movement is calm, yet cheerful, support during the matches, as "rolig" means "calm" in the Danish language. The roligans have since developed an image of easy-going nature and rabid support, and are often considered amongst the world's best national team fans, along with the Tartan Army of Scotland. They were collectively given the FIFA FairPlay Award at the 1984 European Championships. Just before the 1986 World Cup, the roligan movement was organized in order to support the national team at the tournament.
However, the good reputation of the Danish supporters was sullied by the 2008 UEFA qualifier fan attack which occurred in June 2007 in the Euro 2008 qualifying match against Sweden when an enraged Danish supporter invaded the pitch and tried to attack the referee, following his decision to hand out a red card for Christian Poulsen and a penalty kick to Sweden in the last minute of the match. The attacking fan was stopped by some of the Danish football players on the field before he reached the referee, but due to the episode, the match was immediately cancelled by the referee, with UEFA subsequently deciding to award a 0–3 default defeat to Denmark as punishment.
Denmark's main rival is Sweden. The countries have played against each other 107 times, of which Denmark have won 40, drawn 20 and lost 47. The first match between the teams was an 8–0 Denmark win in May 1913. Denmark won their first five matches against Sweden before their first defeat in October 1916 by the score 4–0. The first competitive match between the countries was as 1–0 loss for Denmark in the group stage of UEFA Euro 1992. Both teams advanced from the group stage and Denmark went on to win the tournament. In UEFA Euro 2004 the teams drew 2–2 in the last group stage match, ensuring that both teams advanced at the expense of Italy. In Denmark's home match against Sweden in the qualification for UEFA Euro 2008, the visitors were awarded a 3–0 win after a Danish fan invaded the pitch and attacked the referee. The reverse fixture ended in a goalless draw and Denmark failed to qualify for the final tournament. In the qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Denmark won both matches against Sweden by 1–0 and qualified for the World Cup. In the play-offs round of the qualification for UEFA Euro 2016, Denmark lost against Sweden by 4–3 on aggregate and failed to qualify for the final tournament. The most recent match between the countries was a goalless draw in June 2018.
The team kit is produced by Danish company Hummel. It is all-red with white details to reflect the colours of the Danish national flag. Prior to the period of Adidas sponsorship, the kit provider was also Hummel from 1979 to 2004.
The first home match for the Denmark national team was a 2–1 friendly win over England on 25 May 1910, taking place with 12,000 spectators at the stadium "KBs baner" (located in the area "Granen", where the Forum Copenhagen later was built). As the facilities were considered too small, a new stadium in Copenhagen was built with the name Idrætsparken, that since its opening 25 May 1911 hosted all the home matches of the football club KB and most of the home matches of the national team. During the first 82 years of the national team, from October 1908 until November 1990, Denmark played a total number of 254 A-level home matches, of which 232 were played in Idrætsparken. Among all the played home matches in Idrætsparken, Denmark achieved 125 victories (54%), 41 draws (18%) and 66 defeats (28%). The stadium reached a record of 51,600 spectators for the 1–2 game against Sweden in June 1957.
In regards of the first era from 1908–1990, only 22 home matches were played at other stadiums than Idrætsparken, of which 11 took place at Aarhus Idrætspark (then known as Atletion) in Aarhus, followed by Aalborg Stadion in Aalborg with six games, and the remaining five matches hosted by four other stadiums. Whenever another stadium than Idrætsparken was used for a home match, it was only for some of the less important friendly games or Olympic qualifiers. While only Idrætsparken was used to host the matches related to big important tournaments, like the Nordic championship, the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup. When a major rebuilt of Idrætsparken began in December 1990, the subsequent two official Euro 1992 qualification matches were moved to Odense Stadium in Odense.
On 9 September 1992, the rebuilt Idrætsparken, now called Parken and later renamed Telia Parken for sponsorship reasons, became the biggest venue in Denmark with a capacity of 42,358 spectators, and was opened with a friendly 1–2 defeat against Germany. This first match in Parken was viewed by 40,500 spectators, while the current stadium record of 42,099 spectators was set on 8 October 2005 for a World Cup qualifying match against Greece.
The capacity of the stadium was later reduced to 38,009 seats after the upper part of the D-side was converted from 4,000 extra seats into office and VIP areas in June 2009. Despite this decrease in capacity, the stadium is today still the biggest venue in Denmark by far; the next largest venue, Brøndby Stadium, only has a capacity of 26,000 seats. From September 1992 to May 2006, Parken was the sole stadium of all the men's senior national team matches. However, meagre spectator support at some of the friendly matches at Parken, which from 2000 to 2005 attracted an acceptable average of 23,862 per match – but down to 9,598 for the friendly 3–1 win over Israel in April 2002 – prompted the DBU to start hosting many of the friendly matches to other stadiums around Denmark. These other stadiums had less spectator capacity than Parken, but just about enough to cover the Danes' somewhat lesser interest for friendly matches.
On 27 May 2006, Parken's 13-year monopoly on national team matches was broken for the first time when Denmark played a friendly match at the Aarhus Idrætspark against upcoming 2006 World Cup participants Paraguay. Tickets to this match were sold out quickly, with almost 19,000 of the 20,227 tickets sold within the first hour of sale, and was support-wise a big success with a total audience of 20,047 spectators. When the two next friendly matches were played at some other new venues, 16 August at Fionia Park in Odense against Poland, and on 1 September at Brøndby Stadium against Portugal, the number of spectators dropped to a disappointing level. The Poland match attracted only 11,088 spectators, while the Portugal match only 13,186 spectators. In particular, the Portugal match was deemed as a support-wise failure because it featured a higher-ranked opponent, which spectators normally would have a high interest to watch. The main reasons why Brøndby Stadium failed to attract a high number of spectators were generally thought to be a combination of the poor rainy weather and the fact the stadium is located on the outskirts of Copenhagen, and as such does not attract a new demographic audience compared to Parken, due to the travel distances being more or less the same for the majority of the population.
Currently, while most of the friendly matches continue to be played at some of the smaller stadiums in Denmark, it has been decided to continue playing all of the qualifying matches for the European Championships and World Cup only at Parken Stadium. Those friendly matches, which are believed to create a high interest from spectators, will also continue to be played at Parken. For example, the friendly against Germany in August 2010 was played at Parken Stadium due to the general expectation of many spectators having a desire to watch the match. However, after Denmark's weak performance at the 2010 World Cup, the friendly only drew 19,071 spectators. During the last 19.5 years, from September 1992 to January 2012, Denmark played a total of 77 A-level matches at Parken Stadium, of which 49 were won (64%), 16 were drawn (21%) and only 12 lost (15%).
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1958||Did not qualify||4||0||0||4||4||13|
|1962||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1966||Did not qualify||6||1||1||4||7||18|
|1986||Round of 16||9th||4||3||0||1||10||6||8||5||1||2||17||6|
|1990||Did not qualify||6||3||2||1||15||6|
|2002||Round of 16||10th||4||2||1||1||5||5||10||6||4||0||22||6|
|2006||Did not qualify||12||6||4||2||24||12|
|2014||Did not qualify||10||4||4||2||17||12|
|2018||Round of 16||11th||4||1||3||0||3||2||12||7||3||2||25||9|
|2022||To be determined|
|Denmark's World Cup record|
|First Match|| Scotland 0–1 Denmark |
(Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico; 4 June 1986)
|Biggest Win|| Denmark 6–1 Uruguay |
(Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico; 8 June 1986)
|Biggest Defeat|| Denmark 1–5 Spain |
(Querétaro, Mexico; 18 June 1986)
|Best Result||Quarter-finals in 1998|
|Worst Result||Group stage in 2010|
|UEFA Euro record|
|1960||Did not qualify|
|1968||Did not qualify|
|2008||Did Not Qualify|
|2016||Did Not Qualify|
|2024||To Be Determined|
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||A||To be determined|
|Paris 1900||Was not invited|
|St. Louis 1904|
|London 1908||Silver medalists||3||2||0||1||26||3|
|Stockholm 1912||Silver medalists||3||2||0||1||13||5|
|Antwerp 1920||First round||1||0||0||1||0||1|
|1924–1936||Did not enter|
|London 1948||Bronze medalists||4||3||0||1||15||11|
|Melbourne 1956||Did not enter|
|Rome 1960||Silver medalists||5||4||0||1||11||7|
|Tokyo 1964||Did not qualify|
|Mexico City 1968||Did not enter|
|Montréal 1976||Did not qualify|
|Moscow 1980||Did not enter|
|Los Angeles 1984||Did not qualify|
|Since 1992||See Denmark national under-21 football team|
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||Did not enter|
|1997||Did not qualify|
|Nordic Football Championship record|
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||5||1||2||2||5||8||−3|
|Republic of Ireland||19||4||10||5||23||23||0|
|United Arab Emirates||1||0||1||0||1||1||0|
|5 September UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Gibraltar||0–6||Denmark||Gibraltar|
|20:45 UTC+2||Report||Skov 6'
Eriksen 34' (pen.), 50' (pen.)
Gytkjær 73', 78'
|Stadium: Victoria Stadium|
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)
|8 September UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Georgia||0–0||Denmark||Tbilisi, Georgia|
|20:00 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena|
Referee: François Letexier (France)
|12 October UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Denmark||1–0||Switzerland||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|18:00 UTC+2||Poulsen 84'||Report||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (Belarus)
|15 October Friendly||Denmark||4–0||Luxembourg||Aalborg, Denmark|
|20:00 UTC+2||Braithwaite 13'
Dolberg 21', 59'
|Report||Stadium: Aalborg Stadium|
Referee: Bojan Pandžić (Sweden)
|15 November UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Denmark||6–0||Gibraltar||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|20:45 UTC+1||Skov 12', 64'
Eriksen 85', 90+4'
|Report||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
Referee: István Vad (Hungary)
|18 November UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Republic of Ireland||1–1||Denmark||Dublin, Republic of Ireland|
|19:45 UTC±0||Doherty 85'||Report||Braithwaite 73'||Stadium: Aviva Stadium|
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
|5 September 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Denmark||v||Belgium||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|20:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
|8 September 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Denmark||v||England||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|20:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
|11 October 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Iceland||v||Denmark||Reykjavík, Iceland|
|20:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Laugardalsvöllur|
|14 October 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||England||v||Denmark||London, England|
|18:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Wembley Stadium|
|15 November 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Denmark||v||Iceland||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|20:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Parken Stadium|
|18 November 2020–21 UEFA Nations League||Belgium||v||Denmark||Various, Belgium|
|18:45 UTC+2||Stadium: Various|
The following players were called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Gibraltar on 15 November 2019 and Republic of Ireland on 18 November 2019.
Caps and goals updated as of 18 November 2019 after the match against Republic of Ireland.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Kasper Schmeichel (Vice-captain)||5 November 1986||53||0||Leicester City|
|22||GK||Frederik Rønnow||4 August 1992||7||0||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|16||GK||Jesper Hansen||31 March 1985||0||0||Midtjylland|
|4||DF||Simon Kjær (Captain)||26 March 1989||95||3||Milan|
|6||DF||Andreas Christensen||10 April 1996||31||1||Chelsea|
|17||DF||Jens Stryger Larsen||21 February 1991||29||1||Udinese|
|13||DF||Mathias Jørgensen||23 April 1990||28||2||Fortuna Düsseldorf|
|2||DF||Peter Ankersen||22 September 1990||27||1||Genoa|
|14||DF||Henrik Dalsgaard||27 July 1989||25||1||Brentford|
|5||DF||Jonas Knudsen||16 September 1992||7||0||Malmö|
|3||DF||Joachim Andersen||31 May 1996||1||0||Lyon|
|10||MF||Christian Eriksen||14 February 1992||95||31||Internazionale|
|19||MF||Lasse Schöne||27 May 1986||50||3||Genoa|
|8||MF||Thomas Delaney||3 September 1991||43||5||Borussia Dortmund|
|23||MF||Pierre-Emile Højbjerg||5 August 1995||33||3||Southampton|
|18||MF||Daniel Wass||31 May 1989||20||0||Valencia|
|15||MF||Christian Nørgaard||10 May 1994||0||0||Brentford|
|20||FW||Yussuf Poulsen||15 June 1994||42||7||RB Leipzig|
|11||FW||Martin Braithwaite||5 June 1991||39||7||Barcelona|
|21||FW||Andreas Cornelius||16 March 1993||25||4||Parma|
|12||FW||Kasper Dolberg||6 October 1997||17||5||Nice|
|9||FW||Christian Gytkjær||6 May 1990||9||5||Lech Poznań|
|7||FW||Robert Skov||20 May 1996||4||3||Hoffenheim|
The following list of active players were not called up for the latest match of the national team, but were called up for an A-level match within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Daniel Iversen||19 July 1997||0||0||Rotherham United||v. Georgia, 8 September 2019|
|DF||Lasse Nielsen||8 January 1988||1||0||Malmö||v. Luxembourg, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Lukas Lerager||12 July 1993||10||1||Genoa||v. Luxembourg, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Anders Christiansen||8 June 1990||4||0||Malmö||v. Luxembourg, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Philip Billing||11 June 1996||0||0||Bournemouth||v. Luxembourg, 15 October 2019|
|FW||Lucas Andersen||13 September 1994||4||0||AaB||v. Luxembourg, 15 October 2019|
INJ Injured or recovering from surgery.
The players are freely chosen by the national team manager. They are normally assembled from their respective club teams at the Hotel Marienlyst in Elsinore for a week-long training camp preluding the upcoming match. Friendly matches are typically played on a Wednesday evening. World Cup qualifiers are played on both Saturday and Wednesday evenings, while Euro qualifiers now take place on both a Friday and Tuesday evening when playing two matches in a row, or on a Friday/Saturday/Tuesday at rounds with only one match scheduled.
In November 2006, the DBU nominated eight Danish national team footballers for the "Best Danish Footballer of All Time" award. The nominated players were Morten Olsen, Henning Jensen, Allan Simonsen, Preben Elkjær, Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup, Peter Schmeichel and Jon Dahl Tomasson. The winner of the award was decided by a public vote arranged by the broadcasting channel TV2, which ended with Michael Laudrup as a clear winner, with 58% of the votes.
Denmark's Hall of Fame was established in October 2008, as a special award to celebrate the best footballers, teams and coaches; throughout the history of the national team. A jury with 6 people (representing the newspapers, authors of football books, active players of the national team, TV2, the DBU, and a Hall of Fame member), each year have the job to award one or two new members for the Hall of Fame. The award will be handed out at the official Danish Football Awards, which is a yearly television broadcast event – organized by the DBU in November throughout 2008 to 2013 and subsequently moved to a later date in February. Beside of receiving the award, all Hall of Fame members are also invited to leave a footprint in bronze, to decorate the entrance hall at "Fodboldens hus" -the DBU headquarters in Brøndby. When the DBU celebrated its 125-year anniversary in May 2014, it decided to make an extraordinary award of nine additional Hall of Fame Members, all playing during the first half of the DBU national team's existence, from 1908 to 1964. Because of financial restraints, the DBU cancelled the planned televised broadcast of the Football Award in February 2015, and for the same reason opted not to award any new Hall of Fame members in this specific year. The DBU expected to return awarding new Hall of Fame members again, when the next broadcast Football Award event is organized in February 2016.
Sorted by last year appearing at the national football team.
Each national team player receives a set amount of money per match, including bonuses for a win and qualification for European Championship and World Cup tournaments. Throughout the years, the prize money has gone from around €1,340 for a match win in 1987 and around €26,800 for the Euro 1988 participation alone, to around €67,000 for the 1998 World Cup, and up to €107,000 for the 2002 World Cup participations, per player.
Currently, the payments for participation in games outside the big tournaments are regulated by a collective agreement – to be renegotiated after a certain number of years – while all payments for participation of players in a final tournament squad are regulated by the "1998 agreement" between the DBU and Spillerforeningen. The "1998 agreement" stipulates that whenever the national team qualifies for a World Cup or European Championship tournament, the selected players for the final tournament shall receive 50% of the DBU's revenues from the event, and 65% of the DBU's revenues from the sale of merchandise and license agreements. Additionally, the sponsors of the national team also pay a relatively high "qualification bonus" each time the team qualifies for a final tournament. This bonus is shared between the group of players being selected for the final 18-man squad, to one or several of the qualification matches played, with the exact distribution normally decided according to the number of times the player was selected.
Each of the 23 selected players for the 2002 World Cup received DKK 498,000 (equal to €66,800) from the event revenues, plus DKK 122,900 (equal to €16,500) from the sale of merchandise and license agreements, plus an unknown qualification bonus from the sponsors, plus the standard payment from the DBU each time they were selected for the final 18-man squad to a qualification match. In comparison, each of the 23 selected players for the 2010 World Cup received DKK 635,000 (equal to €85,100) from the event revenues, plus DKK 98,900 (equal to €13,200) from the sale of merchandise and license agreements, plus a qualification bonus from the sponsors at DKK 2,800,000 (equal to €375,000) to be shared between the players – corresponding to an amount of €2,080 per time the player was selected for the final 18-man squad to a qualification match. In addition to the qualification bonus, the players also received this standard payment from the DBU each time they were selected for the 18-man squad to a qualification match:
Based on Denmark's results and number of spectators at home matches, the standard qualification match payment to a player selected for all Denmark's qualification matches equals a total amount of DKK 235,898 (or €31,600) for the six qualification matches in the 2008–09 season, and a total amount of DKK 170,788 (or €22,900) for the four qualification matches in the 2009–10 season. Finally, the players could also add a seasonal payment named "regular bonus" from the sponsors, with a total of DKK 4,350,000 (equal to €583,100) to be shared each season by the squad of 18 players selected for a match, meaning a player who was selected for all national team matches from 1 August to 31 July would receive an additional DKK 241,700 (equal to €32,400) payment in both the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons.
The last amount of a players income generated by the national team is the standard payment received for each friendly match:
Based on Denmark's results and number of spectators at home matches, the standard payment to a player selected for all Denmark's friendly matches equals a total amount of DKK 41,426 (or €5,500) for the three friendly matches in the 2008–09 season, and a total amount of DKK 88,773 (or €11,900) for the seven friendly matches in the 2009–10 season.
When all these payments are added together for a player, under the assumption a player was selected for all matches in each season as well as the final 2010 World Cup squad, he would have received a total payment from the DBU of €69,500 in the 2008–09 season and a total payment from the DBU of €186,300 in the 2009–10 season.
Players listed in bold are still active at national level.
|3||Jon Dahl Tomasson||1997–2010||112||52|
Players listed in bold are still active at national level.
|1||Poul "Tist" Nielsen||1910–1925||52||38||1.37|
|Jon Dahl Tomasson||1997–2010||52||112||0.46|
|5||Preben Elkjær Larsen||1977–1988||38||69||0.55|
When the national team is assembled and train together ahead of a match, the team is coached by:
|Head Coach||Kasper Hjulmand|
|Assistant Coach||Morten Wieghorst|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Lars Høgh|
|Fitness Coach||Ben Rosen|
|Doctor||Thøger Persson Krogh|
|Match Analyst||Mounir Akhiat|
The responsibility and job description for the manager of the Denmark national football team, has changed throughout the history. From 1908 to 1918, the DBU preferred to assign a manager with the overall responsibility. This was followed by a long era from 1919 to 1956 where either no manager or only a caretaker manager was assigned. When the DBU assigned Arne Sørensen (November 1956 – December 1961) and Poul Petersen (January 1962 –December 1966) as managers for a rolling period of several years, they were given the responsibility to coach the physical training and decide the team tactics before and during each match, but had no influence upon the selection of players for the national squad, which was a job for the specially-appointed selection committee, the UdtagelsesKomitéen.
From 1967 to 1969, the management of the team more or less became a sole responsibility for the UdtagelsesKomitéen, following a new approach. In this new approach, the job to select players continued to be the responsibility for the UdtagelsesKomitéen, but the chairman of the committee was now also appointed to be the "tactical manager" of the national team, as the DBU realized the need of having a special tactical manager assigned to get influence upon both the selection of players and the related tactics before and during the game. However, the appointed tactical manager did not have the responsibility to train the squad, as a special physical coach was instead selected for that job. In 1970, the approach with two managers assigned was again abandoned when the DBU realized the need to assign only one manager with the sole responsibility for the squad.
From 1970 to 1979, the job to select players was not yet a sole responsibility of the manager alone, but only a shared responsibility, as this continued to be a matter for the UdtagelsesKomitéen to decide. When a selection of players had to be made, it was decided by a vote in the committee, with the appointed manager being granted an influence of three votes and the four members of the committee being granted one vote each. This special selection procedure continued until July 1979, where it was decided to award the sole responsibility of all manager-related areas to the manager himself, with the assignment of Sepp Piontek as the first full-time professional manager of the national team.
The box below, list all assigned football managers for the national team, since the first official game in October 1908. During the years from 1911 to 1961, a total of 169 games were played without an assigned manager.
|Charlie Williams||October 1908||December 1910||4||3||0||1||75.00|
|No manager||January 1911||December 1912||5||3||0||2||60.00|
|Axel Andersen Byrval||January 1913
|No manager||January 1916
|Caretaker manager||August 1920||August 1920||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|No manager||September 1920||December 1938||77||35||13||29||45.45|
|Caretaker managers||January 1939||October 1956||18||10||3||5||55.56|
|No manager||July 1939||September 1956||74||29||11||34||39.19|
|Arne Sørensen||November 1956||December 1961||41||20||8||13||48.78|
|No manager||June 1957||September 1961||3||1||0||2||33.33|
|Poul Petersen||January 1962||December 1966||47||17||8||22||36.17|
| Erik Hansen (tactical coach)
Ernst Netuka (training coach)
|January 1967||December 1967||8||4||2||2||50.00|
| Erik Hansen (tactical coach)
Henry From (training coach)
|January 1968||January 1969||11||4||1||6||36.36|
| John Hansen (tactical coach)
Henry From (training coach)
|February 1969||December 1969||9||5||1||3||55.56|
|Rudi Strittich||January 1970||December 1975||61||20||11||30||32.79|
|Kurt "Nikkelaj" Nielsen||January 1976||June 1979||31||13||6||12||41.94|
|Sepp Piontek||July 1979||April 1990||115||52||24||39||45.22|
|Richard Møller Nielsen||May 1987
|Bo Johansson||July 1996||June 2000||40||17||9||14||42.50|
|Morten Olsen||July 2000||November 2015||166||80||42||44||48.19|
|Åge Hareide||December 2015||June 2020||42||21||18||3||50.00|
|John Jensen (caretaker)[b]||5 September 2018||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Kasper Hjulmand||July 2020[c]||0||0||0||0||—|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Denmark national football team.|
| Confederations Cup Winners
1995 (first title)
| European Champions
1992 (first title)