The Danes showed extraordinary degrees of responsibility, drive and resolve as they verged on arriving at the last of the opposition.
The victors of Euro 2020 will be either Italy or England, with the two countries battling Sunday’s last at Wembley – nonetheless, for most neutrals, the genuine bosses of the competition are Denmark.
The Danish side needed to defeat repulsive conditions after supernatural midfielder Christian Eriksen endured a heart failure on the pitch during their initial game with Finland, which sent shockwaves across the universe of football.
Kasper Hjulmand’s group showed surprising cooperation to meet up and recuperate both intellectually and in football terms as they made it right to the semi-last of the opposition.
1) ERIKSEN COLLAPSES ON THE PITCH
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen was taken to hospital after falling to the ground during a World Cup match against Finland. The Inter playmaker suffered a head injury and had to be stretchered off in the first half of the game. The incident took place at the start of the second half, with no other player near him. Referee Anthony Taylor called for the medical staff as players and fans of both nations looked on distraught.
2) PRAYING FOR ERIKSEN
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in the first half of their Euro qualifying match against Norway. The former Tottenham midfielder was taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack on the pitch. His teammates shielded him as he received vital, life-saving treatment from medics. He has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
3) SIMON KJAER: THE HERO OF EURO 2020
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel helped to save Christian Eriksen’s life after he was injured in the first half of their World Cup Group B match against Finland. The midfielder was taken to hospital after suffering an ankle injury during the opening game at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. After confirmation that he was stable, the match resumed and Finland went on to win 1-0.
4) GROUP-STAGE EXIT?
Denmark’s Euro campaign came to an end after a 2-1 defeat by Belgium in their final group game. Yussuf Poulsen scored the fastest goal of the tournament after just 99 seconds, but it was not enough for Denmark. Kevin De Bruyne scored a late equalizer for Belgium and they went on to win the game -2. The result means that Denmark is now out of the competition after three matches.
5) A MIRACLE IN COPENHAGEN
Denmark beat Russia 4-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil. Mikkel Damsgaard and Andreas Christensen scored two goals each as Denmark won their final group game. The result means they will now face Belgium in the knock-out stages. Belgium beat Finland 2-0 to finish second in their group, while Russia beat Finland 1-0.
6) DOLBERG HITS HIS STRIDE
Kasper Dolberg scored three goals as Denmark beat Wales 4-0 in the round of 16 at Euro 2020. Kasper Dolberg had an underwhelming club season with Nice, but shone at the Euros as Denmark’s top scorer with three goals.
7) MAEHLE COMES OF AGE
Denmark face England in the semi-finals of Euro after a 2-1 win over Czech Republic. Joakim Maehle scored in the quarter-final against Czech Republic to set up a last-four clash with Roy Hodgson’s side. The Atalanta defender has been one of the standout players at Euro so far. He was named man of the match for his performance in the first two games of the tournament.
8) DAMSGAARD’S WOW MOMENT
Mikkel Eriksen scored the only goal as Denmark beat England 1- in their Euro semi-final at Wembley. The 21-year-old’s superb free-kick was the first goal conceded by England at the tournament. Sampdoria winger Mikkel Damsgaard, who turned 21 four days before the match, had been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
9) SCHMEICHEL’S WEMBLEY HEROICS
England responded, and eventually won the game after extra time – but credit must be given to goalkeeper Schmeichel, who for long periods looked as if he might deny the Three Lions all on his own.
The son of Euro 92 winner Peter, Schmeichel denied Raheem Sterling superbly in a one-on-one situation in the first half, acrobatically kept out a Harry Maguire header in the second, and saved Harry Kane’s penalty in added time – only for the England captain to net the rebound.
The Leicester City keeper had starred at Wembley in last season’s FA Cup final, and he was just as good on Wednesday night.
10) A PROUD NATION
Denmark’s Euros journey ended with tired legs on the Wembley pitch, but they can depart with their heads held high.
Having started the competition with near-tragedy, they came close to unimaginable glory and thrilled fans and neutrals alike along the way.
While the celebrations in Copenhagen were eventually cut short, Danish fans will have plenty to remember from their incredible Euro 2020.
With an exciting and talented squad of players, and the remarkable Kasper Hjulmand at the helm, there’s likely to be plenty to look forward to in the future as well.