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|Nickname(s)||De Rød-Hvide (The Red-White)
|Association||Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU)|
|Head coach||Åge Hareide|
|Most caps||Peter Schmeichel (129)|
|Top scorer||Poul Nielsen (52)
Jon Dahl Tomasson (52)
|Home stadium||Telia Parken|
|Current||12 7 (23 November 2017)|
|Highest||3 (May 1997, August 1997)|
|Lowest||51 (April 2017)|
|Current||19 (15 November 2017)|
|Highest||1 (June to October 1916)|
|Lowest||65 (May 1967)|
| Denmark 9–0 France
(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||8 (first in 1964)|
|Best result||Champions, 1992|
|Appearances||1 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Champions, 1995|
The Denmark national football team (Danish: Danmarks fodboldlandshold) represents Denmark in association football and is controlled by the Danish Football Association (DBU), the governing body for the football clubs which are organized under DBU. Denmark's home ground is Telia Parken in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen, and their head coach is Åge Hareide.
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 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 managed to win the 1995 FIFA 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.
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 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.
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 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 Olympics, in 1912, the team again managed to win 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 Association (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 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification, Denmark finished with eight points from eight matches, including a 3–1 win against 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 of "Danish Dynamite" became a mainstay for the following decade of 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 managed to secure 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 managed to win 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 in the final, 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 managed to win 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 had 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 were 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 were 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 play-off 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 managed to qualify 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 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.
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. This kind of statistic of course only provide an overall indication of the performance, as it does not take the difficulty of the opponents into account – and/or the number of "difficult matches". For a more accurate evaluation of the performance of the national team under the guidance of various coaches, one should also compare the development in the team's position at the official FIFA ranking or Elo ranking, where the merits of qualification and results in the final European Championship and World Cup tournament receive the highest weight. Beside of the success of Olsen to qualify Denmark for the World Cup in 2002 and 2010, and the European Championship in 2004 and 2012, he also gained several great results in the friendly games. In example, a friendly 4–1 win over England in 2005, England's heaviest defeat since 1980; and a repeat of the 3–2 friendly win achieved by Denmark on English soil at Old Trafford, Manchester, in 2003.
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.
|Hummel||2016 – present|
The team kit is currently produced by Danish company Hummel. It is all-red with white details to reflect the colours of the Danish national flag. Prior to a brief period of Adidas sponsorship, the kit provider was also Hummel from 1926 to 2004. In January 2016, it was announced Hummel would be again the kit provider for the Denmark national team.
UEFA Euro 1984 home kit
1986 FIFA World Cup home kit
UEFA Euro 1988 home kit
UEFA Euro 1992 home kit
1995 King Fahd Cup home kit
UEFA Euro 1996 home kit
1998 FIFA World Cup home kit
UEFA Euro 2000 home kit
2002 FIFA World Cup home kit
2010 FIFA World Cup home kit
UEFA Euro 2012 home kit
1986 FIFA World Cup away kit
UEFA Euro 1992 away kit
UEFA Euro 1996 away kit
1998 FIFA World Cup away kit
UEFA Euro 2000 away kit
2002 FIFA World Cup away kit
2010 FIFA World Cup away kit
UEFA Euro 2012 away kit
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 NRGi Park (then known as Atletion) in Århus, 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, 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 NRGi Park Stadium in Århus 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
Summer Olympics (unofficial)
The first 4 Olympic football events were only unofficial tournaments, with a few nations represented by a club team. Starting from 1908, the Olympic football tournament became an official event, with representation of the official national football teams.
Summer Olympics (official)
After the Olympics 1988, the football event was changed into a tournament, with participation only for the U23 national teams plus three overage players.
FIFA Confederations Cup
All-time record against other nations
As of 15 November 2017
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
The Danish national teams matches in current and upcoming tournaments including friendlies in the same period.
Romania v Denmark
Denmark v Germany
Kazakhstan v Denmark
Denmark v Poland
Armenia v Denmark
Montenegro v Denmark
Denmark v Romania
Denmark v Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland v Denmark
Peru v Denmark
Denmark v Australia
Denmark v France
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
The players are freely chosen by the national team manager. They are normally assembled from their respective club teams the at 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.
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.
Player names and numbers
Shirt numbers became quickly associated with a certain position. So to describe someone as "Denmark's number 9" would be to describe a player as the best choice for centre forward. This terminology continues today, and the team has kept to the tradition of numbering players in the starting squad from 1 to 11 (with 12 upwards for substitutes), at all games played outside the major tournaments. For games at major tournaments, such as the World Cup or European Championship, the team is required to play with permanent squad numbers throughout the tournament.
Numbers are traditionally associated with a certain position on the field, but there are no set rules. Furthermore, established players will tend to use the same number whenever they play. Christian Poulsen, for example, retained the Denmark number 2 no matter what position he played in. However, when Poulsen did not play, another player would be issued number 2.
The following players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier play-off matches against Republic of Ireland on 11 November and on 14 November 2017.
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.
Best players of all time
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.
Hall of Fame
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.
Players listed in bold are still active at national level.
Players listed in bold are still active at national level.
When the national team is assembled and train together ahead of a match, the team is coached by:
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.