It seems The Little Mermaid is not the only fairytale to come out of Copenhagen, as Denmark have reached a European Championship semi-final for the first time since 1992. That year is particularly significant, as they went on to be crowned European Champions, with a win over Germany – having originally only qualified as a result of Yugoslavia’s disqualification.
Standing in their way of potentially a second final are England. And while the England v Italy betting odds are firmly in the former’s favour, the Danes can be proud of their achievements so far – having lost their opening two group matches and of course, not forgetting those harrowing scenes at the Parken. Their warrior sprit lives on, as Kasper Hjulmand’s side look to do it for their talisman Christian Eriksen, with the backing of most of the continent willing them on.
Let’s rewind the clock and see how Denmark have fared at previous tournaments.
Euro 2016: Did not qualify
Denmark were placed in Group I for qualification for the Euros five years ago. After finishing third, behind Portugal and Albania who both automatically qualified, they transferred to the play-offs. Drawn against Nordic rivals Sweden, they lost 3-2 on aggregate, having gone behind in both legs – and ultimately, failed to qualify for the tournament in France.
Euro 2012: Group stage
Having managed to qualify for Euro 2012, which was dual-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, the Danes were drawn in the ‘Group of Death’, Group B alongside Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands. With only the top two progressing to the knockout stages, Denmark finished third, with their solitary win coming in their opening fixture against the Netherlands.
Euro 2008: Did not qualify
It proved a tough qualifying campaign for the Danes ahead of Euro 2008. They eventually finished fourth in Group F, behind Northern Ireland on their head-to-head record – which they had lost 4-1 on aggregate. Spain and Sweden were the two nations to qualify. There had also been drama in Denmark’s home match against Sweden after a Danish support invaded the pitch and attacked referee Herbert Fandel. The match was abandoned and Sweden were automatically handed a 3-0 win.
Euro 2004: Quarter-finals
Much like the EURO 2020 winner odds, Denmark weren’t fancied too much at Euro 2004, either. In one of the tightest groups in European Championship history, Denmark narrowly progressed from Group C. Sweden, Denmark and Italy all had finished their group campaigns with five points. While they were also tied on head-to-head points (2) and goal difference (0), it came down to goals scored, and Sweden (3), and Denmark (2) were the beneficiaries. However, their European adventure came crashing down in the knockout stages, as the Czech Republic ran out dominant 3-0 winners.
Euro 2000: Group stage
A tournament to forget for the Danes, who finished bottom of Group D, as Belgium and the Netherlands shared hosting duties. Placed in a difficult group alongside France, the Dutch and the Czech Republic, not only did Denmark fail to pick up a single point, they were also unable to score any goals. An early exit and one that doesn’t need revisiting again.
It’s fair to say that the Danes have come a long way since then. Euro 2020 has seen them play on home soil in Copenhagen, as well as Amsterdam, Baku and now London. Will this be the end of their European adventure or is there a twist in the plot of this story to come?