World Cup 2018 Denmark team profile: How they qualified, star man, World Cup record, fixtures
Denmark qualified through the play-offs but have quality within their ranks and a favourable draw. How far can they go?
- Honours: World Cup 1998; Copa America, 1939, 1975
- FIFA Ranking: 12
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Denmark, despite dispatching Poland 4-0 last September, ended the campaign second behind the Poles in Group E.
Age Hereide's side were handed a tricky enough play-off against Ireland, and were, after a scoreless draw at home, slight underdogs going into the second leg in Dublin. However Christian Eriksen dazzled as the Danes thumped Ireland 5-1 to secure their passage to the World Cup.
STAR MAN - Christian Eriksen
The 26-year-old playmaker has developed into an elite-level player under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, able to bend games to his will. His brilliance with a ball at his feet is matched only by his willingness to work for the team.
Throw into the mix his excellence from dead ball situations and Denmark have a game changer within their midst.
Christian Eriksen celebrates in Dublin.Getty Images
NEXT BIG THING - Kasper Dolberg
Dolberg exploded onto the scene with Ajax Amsterdam during the 2016-17 season, netting 16 goals in the league and 6 in the Europa League.
The 20-year-old has seen his first-team opportunities dwindle a touch this season due to a combination of injuries and increased competition but he remains a talent of some repute.
Denmark's forward Kasper Dolberg vies with Romania's Vlad Chiriches during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Denmark and Romania in Copenhagen on October 8, 2017.Getty Images
THE COACH - Age Hareide
The 64-year-old had previously coached the Norwegian national team and his appointment was met with a certain amount of scepticism considering the direct brand of football he favours. That despite the fact he has won league titles in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
It has been a pretty fruitful partnership, with Denmark qualifying for a first tournament since 2010.
WORLD CUP HISTORY
Denmark first made an appearance at the World Cup in 1986, where they made the last 16. Their best performance came at France 1998, where they were ousted by Brazil at the quarter-final stage but they have trended downwards from there; it was the last 16 in 2002, they did not qualify for 2006 and did not make it out of the Group Stage in 2010, and again failed to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.
Danish forward Michael Laudrup (C) is challenged by Brazilian midfielder Dunga (L) as Ronaldo looks on during the1998 Soccer World Cup quarter final match between Denmark and Brazil, 03 July at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes. Brazil won 3-2 and qualiGetty Images
REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
They have a solid spine with Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen, Christian Eriksen and Kasper Dolberg; plus they are in winnable group.
- June 16th: Peru
- June 21st: Australia
- June 26th: France