Back in 1992, which is twenty years ago but we think of as ‘recent’, Denmark made a mockery of all that meticulous pre-tournament preparation…
On May 31st, ten days before Euro 92 was due to kick off in Sweden, UEFA announced that due to the worsening conflict in Yugoslavia they would not participate in the tournament.
As runners-up in their group Denmark were given the nod to replace them. Contrary to popular belief the Danes weren’t all sunning themselves and on the razz in Spain, they were actually assembled and due to play the CIS (USSR, CCCCP, Russia, Soviet Union) in a pre-tournament friendly, but it’s an enduring image.
Having arrived in Malmo in short order, the Danes drew 0-0 with England and then lost to neighbours Sweden in Stockholm; before a win over France back in Malmo earned them a semi-final tie against Holland.
Having drawn 2-2 with the reigning Champions Peter Schmeichel saved Marco van Basten’s spot kick in the shoot-out to put the Danes into the final, a meeting with Germany in Gothenburg.
Goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort gave Denmark a fairly comfortable win over the Germans, to clinch the greatest moment in the country’s sporting history. A true life fairytale from the land of Hans Christian Andersen…
For more heart-warming stuff buy ‘Got, Not Got’ here… ideal for the impending wet weekend.