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Who would make the all-time Denmark World Cup team?

For a team that has regularly been brimming with top talent, it is quite surprising to see that Denmark have failed to make major progress at the World Cup. The Danes have only appeared at five World Cup tournaments with their best result being a quarter finals appearance in 1998.

However, it hasn’t prevented the 1992 European Champions from leaving a lasting appearance in sport’s biggest competition. Some of Europe’s best known players have appeared for De Rod-Hvide at the World Cup and left their own mark at the tournament. So just who would make the all-time Denmark World Cup team?

 

Who would make the all-time Denmark World Cup team?

 

GK: Peter Schmeichel

Very few goalkeepers have earnt plaudits anywhere in world football quite like Peter Schmeichel. “The Great Dane” was someone with mind-blowing agility for someone his size and was able to command his area unlike anyone of his generation.

It was Schmeichel who was their leader at the 1998 World Cup and helped Denmark reach the last eight in a squad and defence that was almost impenetrable at times. With 129 caps to his name, Schmeichel is still the all-time record holder in appearances for the Danish national side and a player who also has earned a spot in the Danish Hall Of Fame.

 

RB: Thomas Helveg

For well over a decade, Thomas Helveg was one of the key lynchpins in a star-studded Danish defence. What Helveg lacked in technical ability, the right-back made up for in aerial prowess and reading of the game. It made him extremely hard to beat in one-on-one duels and one of Europe’s best defenders at the turn of the century.

Helveg starred in a Denmark side that reached the last eight in France 1998 and that reached the knockout stages in 2002. It made for a great career in a side that never reached the heights that they could’ve potentially reached and sees him win a spot in our Denmark World Cup team.

 

LB: Jan Heintze

Jan Heintze was a player that could comfortably play on either flank and never be caught out of position when patrolling the back line. What made Heintze particularly dangerous was an underrated ability from set pieces where he gained a reputation for producing excessively dangerous corner kicks.

Heintze’s all-round abilities made him a natural leader and he wore the armband during the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea guiding his team to a spot in the last 16. An excellent full-back that had no real weaknesses.

 

CB: Morten Olsen

No-one has a bond with the Danish national side quite like Morten Olsen. During his playing career, Olsen formed the heart of the defence of the Danish Dynamite side that broke through in the mid-1980s. H

is physical presence and commanding leadership turned Denmark into a major player in European football and respect from all sides of the footballing community. He would take these qualities into management where he would manage the national team for 15 years, helping Denmark reach both the 2002 and 2010 World Cup finals. A true great of the game.

 

CB: Simon Kjaer

Few players seem like a natural leader than Simon Kjaer. Kjaer mental and physical persona oozes confidence and trust from any teammate. If you add that to a skillset that includes excellent passing, impeccable tackling a solid presence in the air, it marks for a player with very little weaknesses.

It was the reason why Kjaer donned the armband for Denmark at the 2018 World Cup and helped the Scandinavian side reach the last 16 of the tournament.

 

CM: Jan Molby

Whilst Jan Molby may be deemed an “honourably Scouser” by any Liverpool fan, the defensive midfielder was also a leading light for Denmark. Best used as the anchor in defence, Molby stood as the spine of the 1986 team which allowed his teammates to press on in attack.

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His physical style blended well when his passing ability and it was a key asset in helping Denmark reach the last sixteen in their debut appearance in Mexico. It was a telling contribution from a player whose influence is often underrated.

 

CM: Frank Arnesen

Frank Arnesen is known for his influence off the pitch but people forget that he was a serious creative force on the field too. Often included in the heart of the pitch, it would be Arnesen’s creative skills that could unlock defences and provide opportunities for his teammates to convert.

Arnesen’s experience and skills were on display in the 1986 World Cup and helped the Denmark team reach the knockout stages in their first ever appearance on football’s grandest stage. It was a noteworthy achievement for a player who was just as impressive off the pitch as they were on it.

 

CM: Michael Laudrup

Few players were quite as versatile or deadly in the final third than Michael Laudrup. Able to player either as a midfielder or striker, Laudrup could singlehandedly destroy defences at a whim. With flawless passing and dribbling as well as a comfortable finisher, Laudrup often proved to be the deciding factor in a game.

His memorable goal at the 1986 World Cup against Uruguay is still considered one of the best goals at a tournament and his form earned him a spot in the FIFA All-Star Squad in the 1998 World Cup. It’s these type of stats that has often led Laudrup to be named the greatest Danish player of all time.

 

FW: Brian Laudrup

Much like his older brother Michael, Brian Laudrup was a nightmare for defenders to handle. Laudrup’s touch and ball control was mesmerizing as was his remarkable consistency to find the back of the net.

Laudrup only featured at one World Cup in 1998 for Denmark but his lively performances and persistent threat made him a nightmare for any team to handle. It was why he was named in the All-Star Team at the 1998 World Cup where he partnered his brother in the team’s attacking line-up.

 

FW: Preben Elkjaer

Not always considered a standout name, Preben Elkjaer’s form and skills matched the best of those who played throughout the 1980s. His ability to lash the ball home and hold off defenders made him a persistent threat for anyone who contested him.

Elkjaer’s form at the 1986 World Cup underlined these qualities. He scored an impressive hat-trick against Uruguay in the group stages and scored 4 goals altogether in the competition. He was given the Bronze Ball for these efforts and also secured a spot in the 1986 FIFA All-Star team. An impressive effort from a Danish legend.

 

FW: Jon Dahl Tomasson

Jon Dahl Tomasson was someone who was almost unplayable at times. With excellent touch and aerial abilities, he was more than capable of beating defenders and finding the net without any issue. It was these traits that were particularly on display when Tomasson played for the national team.

It was his efforts in 2002 that played a big role in Denmark reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup, scoring four goals in four games to help his team reach the last sixteen. It was a feat that saw him awarded the Bronze Shoe in the tournament as well as one of two Danish Player of the Year Awards.

Tomasson would also score in the 2010 World Cup with that goal helping him equal the all-time scoring record for the Danish side – scoring 52 goals in 112 games. It’s a record that stands to this very day and keeps him in talks as one of the greatest strikers of his era.  

 


 

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