The Danes deserve the semi-finals of the European Championship with their history

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European Championship

After the unexpected exit of the Danish national team to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, many remember the triumph of the team from this country at the 1992 European Championship. Then the Danes, for the first and last (so far) time in their history, took a large international trophy in football. And they took it, having lost the qualification and got into the tournament only because of the collapse of Yugoslavia.

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This is, of course, a wonderful story. But then the Danes were lucky in many ways. Despite all their personal overcoming, the game of that brigade did not ignite, and none of that composition, except for Peter Schmeichel (the father of Kasper Schmeichel – the current goalkeeper of the Danish national team), did not have a great club career. In fact, the tough Danish team was eight years earlier. And if she had a little bit of luck from 1992, the 1984 EURO semi-final would definitely not have remained her main achievement.

The French national team then had a great midfield line (“four musketeers” – Platini, Tigana, Giresse and Fernandez), very strong defense, but completely useless forwards. And the Danes’ defense was clearly inferior in class to the attack and midfield lines. That is, Piontek picked up strong guys in defense, but for the first twenty minutes Platini and Tigana drove them like kittens.

And this despite the fact that Berggren tried to play against Platini personally. It seemed that defeat could not be avoided, but then the Danes somehow imperceptibly pushed the game away from their gates, and in the middle of the first half Elquier could well open the score – after his headbutt, Butts with great difficulty pulled the ball out from under the crossbar.

The game was not rough, but Platini, Tigana and Lerby were harassing from behind on the legs. It ended badly: in the 41st minute, Simonsen and Le Roux in the center of the field simultaneously rushed to the ball in a sliding tackle with spikes forward. It was not customary to remove the legs then. The sissies were not allowed out on the field – they beat carefully, but it hurt.

The Frenchman’s thorns flew into the Star Dane’s shinbone, and there was a crunching sound like a branch in a tree. The whole stadium heard this, but the game continued for another 30 seconds, until Quist threw the ball out of bounds. The doctors who ran out stated a fracture – Allan, crouching in pain, left the field on a stretcher in the “main match of his life” (as he announced before this meeting).

By and large, this was the end of Simonsen’s career. For all participants in the match, what happened was a shock. Most of the French remembered very well how, two years earlier, at the 1982 World Cup, the goalkeeper of the Germans, Tony Schumacher, broke the leg of Patrick Battiston. Le Roux, against the background of worries, even began to reduce his leg, and he was replaced at the beginning of the second half. All the rivals’ fervor is gone.

The fact that Platini scored in the end was pure coincidence. Covering the pass to Giresse, Nielsen and Busk tumbled like bowling pins in their own penalty area. Berggren also fell – all the protection of the Danes was on the lawn, and the ball unexpectedly bounced to the free Platini. Michel immediately struck, and after a ricochet on Busk’s head, the shell hit exactly the corner. It was the first goal of the French top ten in the best tournament of his life.

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About the Author: John Watson