Denmark’s road to Qatar
Denmark were near-perfect in qualifying for the World Cup. They topped their group with nine wins out of 10, only losing 2-0 away to Scotland on the final match day, which was after they had already secured qualification.
They scored a whopping 30 goals, which was almost double the amount Scotland, who finished second in the group, scored and at least seven more than any other team in the group. They were also astute defensively and conceded only three goals, which was also the least in the group. The fact that they conceded two of those three in the final game, which was a dead rubber, tells you even more.
Denmark’s best performances at the World Cup
Look away now if you support Nigeria’s Super Eagles. Denmark’s best World Cup finish coincided with the end of their “golden generation,” as Michael Laudrup and his teammates put on one last show for their adoring fans in France.
They reached the quarterfinals for the first time in Danish history, thrashing Nigeria 4-1 in the round of 16 on the way there. They came very close to upsetting Brazil in an entertaining quarterfinal but ultimately lost 3-2 thanks to a goal from Bebeto and a brace from Rivaldo.
They have reached at least the round of 16 at every World Cup they have been to except South Africa 2010, where they were knocked out in the group stage.
Denmark’s final World Cup squad
Denmark’s squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup is as experienced as their 1998 squad, but they also have several experienced youngsters.
From 36-year-old Kasper Schmeichel, who has amassed 86 international caps, to 22-year-old Andreas Skov Olsen, who has already played for Denmark 23 times, they have a squad that has the right balance in terms of age to mount a World Cup challenge. It is only left to see if the talent distribution is as good as the age distribution.
Denmark’s full World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Nice), Oliver Christensen (Hertha Berlin), Frederik Ronnow (Union Berlin).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Joakim Maehle (Atalanta), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona), Rasmus Kristensen (Leeds United), Jens Stryger Larsen (Trabzonspor), Victor Nelsson (Galatasaray), Daniel Wass (Brondby).
Midfielders: Thomas Delaney (Sevilla), Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham).
Forwards: Andreas Skov Olsen (Club Bruges), Jesper Lindstrom (Eintracht Frankfurt), Andreas Cornelius (Copenhagen), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol), Kasper Dolberg (Sevilla), Mikkel Damsgaard (Brentford), Jonas Wind (VfL Wolfsburg).
See the list of every country’s World Cup squads here.
Denmark key players at the World Cup
For Denmark’s most important player, look no further than Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen. The 30-year-old midfield maestro has been at the heart of the Danish midfield since making his debut in 2010 as a teenager. He was the youngest player in the 2010 World Cup and will compete in his third World Cup in Qatar.
Much can be said about Eriksen’s ability to dictate the game and his incredible ability from set pieces, but words cannot fully describe how good he is at these things, so watch Denmark’s World Cup games to be wowed by mastery.
The attacking fullback was key to Denmark’s offence, which had to deal with the loss of Eriksen in the first game of the tournament, and he has not looked back for the national team since then. During the qualifiers, he scored five goals, including the goal that secured Denmark’s spot at the World Cup, and was Denmark’s top scorer.
How many fullbacks or wingbacks can say they have done the same? When the World Cup comes around, expect to see more of Maehle’s runs into the opposition area, as they will again be key to how Denmark attack.
Denmark’s coach at the World Cup
In the dugout for Denmark at the World Cup will be Kasper Hjulmand, who took them to a remarkable semi-final finish at the Euros against all odds. Hjulmand is no stranger to pulling off the unexpected with underdogs, having led Nordsjlland to their first and only Danish Superliga title.
He could be gearing up to do something similar with the national team, and his side have already shown glimpses of what they can do in the Euros (without their best player) and while qualifying for the World Cup.
Denmark World Cup group fixtures
Denmark vs Tunisia 22nd November 14:00 UTC +1 (Local Nigerian time)
Denmark vs France 26th November 17:00 UTC +1
Denmark vs Australia 30th November 16:00 UTC +1
Denmark’s chances and odds to win the World Cup
Picking Denmark to win the World Cup in Qatar would be a long shot at 28.00 odds, but they have rightly been backed with 6.00 odds to reach the semi-finals, which they have a very realistic chance of doing.