The Success Story Behind Denmark’s Victory At UEFA Euro ’92
The UEFA Euro 1992 football championship will certainly remain in the history of football as being one of the most unpredictable tournaments ever. Hosted by Sweden, the UEFA Euro 1992 tournament saw eight national football teams competing for the European trophy at football and a surprise team of Denmark winning it.
It is also interesting that the competition was contested by two national football teams representing on the one hand unified Germany and on the other hand CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States – competing in the place of the recently dissolved U.S.S.R.), being thus the first major sporting tournament in which unified Germany had competed. Additionally, the UEFA Euro 1992 was the last tournament of its kind to consist of only eight national participants.
Out of the eight participants at this tournament Sweden had qualified automatically (given the fact that it was the host country), the Commonwealth of Independent States (abbreviated CIS) qualified for representing the already dissolved Soviet Union, while France, Scotland, Germany, Netherlands, and England qualified to the final stage of the competition given their good results in the UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying campaign, each of these national football teams topping the groups in which they were drawn.
Initially, it must be mentioned that the national football team of Yugoslavia had qualified for the ’92 UEFA Euro championship by finishing on the first place in qualifying group number 4 (which also comprised Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Austria, and Northern Ireland), yet given the outbreak of wars in Yugoslavia, the representative was banned by the UN Security Council, and as such couldn’t have competed any longer at the final stage. So it was that the runner-up of the same group (which was Denmark, finishing the qualifying stage with 13 points, just 1 point behind Yugoslavia), was designated to compete in Yugoslavia’s place.
The national football team of Denmark managed to win the European title that year, given at first very few chances of prevailing. Denmark was drawn in group A, alongside the host country Sweden, France, and England. Subsequently, the Danish side managed to finish as the runners-up of the group with 3 points (2 points behind Sweden). At the knockout stage, Denmark encountered the Netherlands in the semi-finals and had dramatically managed to win the game at the penalty shootout (5-4), after drawing 2-2 during the regular time.
The final was hosted at the Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, presenting the squads of unified Germany and Denmark competing for the trophy. The final act of the competition produced a tremendous shock since Denmark miraculously defeated the FIFA 1990 world champions by a score of 2-0.
Thus, the national Danish football team managed to win its sole European football trophy to date (previously being able only of reaching the semi-finals in 1984). Henrik Larsen was one of the main goalscorers, together with Tomas Brolin (Sweden), Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands), and Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany), all of them having scored three goals.
The 1992 Danish national squad consisted of some noteworthy talents such as Peter Schmeichel, Lars Olsen, Brian Laudrup, Kent Nielsen, or Henrik Larsen. The then Danish national team was coached by Richard Møller Nielsen.
Below you can watch a series of interviews on how Denmark won the UEFA Euro 1992 football tournament: