The Denmark national football team won against the Ireland national football team in play-offs and got through into the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Earlier, the Danes, at though struggle, took the second place in the qualification Group E, having given the first place to Poland, but forged ahead of the Romania and Montenegro national football teams.
Despite early development of football in Denmark, the national team stayed in the background for a long time, and the football itself existed mainly at an amateur level. The first serious progress came to the Danes within the era when the Laudrup brothers performed for the national team.
For the first time the Danes participated in the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico. Despite the modest status of the tournament debutant, the Scandinavians didn’t go back and created a real sensation. At the group stage the Denmark national football team won three victories in three matches: crushed Uruguay and won against the Germany and Scotland teams. The victory over the Germans, who, following the results of the tournament, will take the second place, stands alone. Alas, in round of last 16, Denmark was beaten by the Spain national football team, 1:5. Unfortunately, the Danes lacked experience of large tournaments participation. The team forward Preben Elkjaer-Larsen scored four goals in the World Cup.
The Danes also took part in the 1998 FIFA World Cup France, where they could achieve their best result — getting into quarterfinal. At the group stage the Scandinavians, already in the first two rounds, secured a berth at play-offs, having outplayed Saudi Arabia and having drawn with the Republic of South Africa. On June 28, 1998, the Denmark national football team won their most important victory in the World Cups in round of last 16, when they crushed the Nigeria national football team with score 4:1. This victory allowed the Danes to get to the eight strongest world teams for the first time in their history. The midfielder of the national team Brian Laudrup played perfectly. In quarterfinal, Denmark was close to creating a sensation and to outplay one of the tournament favourites, the Brazil national football team, but two goals scored by the Danes were not enough for success, score 2:3.
Four years later, the Denmark national football team again was successfully qualified for the World Cup. In the tournament taking place in Japan and South Korea, the Denmark team got into Group A where they unexpectedly could toke first place. In three matches at the group stage Denmark won two victories (over the France and Uruguay national football teams) and also drew against the Senegal national football team. The forward Jon Dahl Tomasson scored four goals in three matches for the Denmark national football team. But already in round of last 16 Denmark powerlessly yielded to the English national football team, 0:3, and left the tournament.
Last time the Scandinavians managed to get into the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. At the draw they got in not the strongest group, the Danes failed the tournament. They yielded in the first round to the Netherlands national football team and beat the team of Cameroon in the second round, then the Denmark national football team lost a decisive match against Japan. As a result, the Danes scored three points, took the third place in the group and left the tournament.
The Denmark national football team showed their main achievement in the 1992 UEFA European Championship where they won unexpectedly for all. Moreover, the Denmark national team initially did not managed to overcome qualifiers. In the qualification group the Scandinavians took only the second place, gave the way to the first place to the Yugoslavia national football team and didn’t get into the European Championship. However, some days before the tournament, the Yugoslavia national football team was disqualified by UEFA for political reasons, and its place was taken by the Denmark national football team. For the Danes such a turn came out of the blue, the team didn’t prepare for the tournament at all. Moreover, because of the conflict with the coach the team leader Michael Laudrup didn’t go to the European Championship.
At the group stage in the first two matches the Danes scored no goal, but they managed to gather one point (draw 0:0 against the English national football team and defeat from Sweden 0:1). In the last match, the Danes need only a victory, and they won, having sensationally outplayed the France national football team, 2:1. The Danish fairy tale began from this victory.
In the semi-final, thanks to two goals of Henrik Larsen, the Danes could make a draw in the match against the Netherlands where such legendary football players as Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten played at that time. In a penalty shootout the Danes realized all the five attempts while the Dutch scored only four goals — one penalty was struck away by the Danes goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.
In the final Denmark had to play with the team of Germany. The Germans were considered as the obvious favourite of the match, but the Danes surprised the experts again and won a convincing victory over the favourite, 2:0. The Denmark national football team sensationally became the 1992 Champion of Europe. The team goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and the forward Henrik Larsen, who scored four goals in the tournament, became the main heroes of the European Championship.
The victory of the team in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup became another success of the Danes. In the final of that tournament the Scandinavians outplayed the Argentina national football team.
The today’s Denmark national football team is an interesting young team. The team leader is the midfielder Tottenham Christian Eriksen, thanks to whose play the Danes got through into the World cup in Russia.