Danes look to repeat 1992 heroics

Denmark head to next summer's European Championships looking to repeat the stunning success their predecessors achieved at Euro 1992.

Celebration time for the Danes.

Twenty years ago, Denmark stunned the footballing world when they charged to a shock victory in Sweden, beating then-World Cup champions Germany 2-0 in the final.

Players like Peter Schmeichel and Brian Laudrup sealed their places in Danish folklore, and with the win, smaller European nations soon started believing that they too could cause an upset at a major international tournament.

Two decades on, the Danes are once again ranked outsiders for Euro 2012, but were impressive in their qualifying campaign, where they finished top of Group H, ahead of Portugal and Norway. Could history repeat itself?

Denmark

World ranking (as of November 2011): 10
Coach: Morten Olsen

While Denmark have a relatively young squad, there can be no worries about a lack of experience when it comes to their coach. Having been in charge of Denmark since 2000, Olsen has led his side to the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, as well as Euro 2004.

Having also captained the Danes at three straight major tournaments between 1984 to 1988, there is no doubt that Olsen knows what it takes to perform on Europe's biggest stage.

Can they win it?

Plenty is actually riding on who Olsen actually takes to Poland and Ukraine, and it will be imperative for him to find the right balance between youth and experience.

In goal, both Thomas Sorensen and Anders Lindegaard will do a capable job, while Lars Jacobsen, Daniel Agger, Simon Kjaer and Simon Poulsen form quite an formidable back four.

Denmark's biggest worry is up front, where Olsen has an unhealthy reliance on Nicklas Bendtner, who is capable of mixing his best and worst performances all in the same match. Elsewhere, veterans Dennis Rommedahl and Martin Jorgensen are still capable of the odd spark of brilliance, but cannot be expected to complete the full 90 minutes.

Therefore, while there has been plenty of hype surrounding him lately, it is with good reason that Denmark's hopes will likely rely heavily on the young shoulders of Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is being tipped to join one of Europe's elite sides shortly.

The 19-year-old has shown on many occasions that he is capable of winning a match of his own boot, and possesses the class that could just cut open even the tightest of defences.

Nonetheless, it is unlikely that Denmark will be capable of following the class of 1992 in charging to a shock victory next summer. However, the future is looking exceedingly bright for this current generation of Danes.

Should Olsen decide to bring a few youngsters like Nicolai Boilesen, Mathias Jorgensen and Nicolai Jorgensen along and give them valuable exposure, it could just serve them in good stead when the 2014 World Cup comes around.

Best performance at European Championships: Winners (1992)



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