Denmark is a small Northern European country that borders Sweden, Norway and Germany to its south. Despite having an estimated 6 million people, this Nordic country is able to produce exceptional footballers who are highly regarded worldwide. It would be interesting to learn about the greatest football players that Denmark has produced. Here are the seven greatest Danish footballers of all time.
1. Peter Schmeichel
The Great Dane, as he’s affectionately known, is without a doubt the greatest goalkeeper Denmark has ever produced. Peter currently holds the record for the most caps for the national team with 129 appearances. The former Danish international was a colossus in goal for the Danish senior national team. He was part of the squad that won an unlikely Euro tournament in 1992. Peter was also part of the exciting Denmark squad that got to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in France 1998. In club football, Schmeichel was also part of the all-conquering Manchester United sides of the 1990s and early 2000s. He’s the father of current Denmark and Leicester City’s number one goalkeeper, Kasper.
2. Jon Dahl Tomasson
The retired Danish striker is arguably the greatest forward the Danes have produced. Tomasson is the joint highest goal scorer for the country with 52 goals in 112 matches. He played for the Danish national team between 1997-2010 and was part of squads that went to World Cups and Euro tournaments in the 2000s. Jon also enjoyed a good club career playing for various sides like Feyenoord, AC Milan and Newcastle.
3. Michael Laudrup
The attacking midfielder cum striker is regarded by many as the greatest ever Danish player. The retired Denmark international made 104 appearances for the senior national team with 37 goals to his name. He was part of great Danish squads that took the world by storm at the 1986 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Laudrup played for a host of high-profile European clubs like Lazio, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, to mention a few, before finally hanging up his boots in 1998.
4. Brian Laudrup
The younger of the talented Laudrup siblings, Brian was blessed with great dribbling skills, crosses and an eye for goal. The former Danish international featured in 82 between 1987-1998, finding the back of the net 21 times. The winger helped Denmark win the Euros in 1992. He was also a member of the 1998 squad that lost narrowly 3-2 to eventual finalists Brazil at the World Cup Finals in France. Laudrup played for many top clubs like Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Chelsea, amongst others.
5. Christian Eriksen
The Danish midfielder is one of the most talented players ever to come out of the country. Eriksen has so far featured 109 times for Denmark, scoring 36 times. Christian came to global prominence after suffering a heart attack during a Euro 2020 group stage match against Finland. Thankfully he survived that scare after timely treatment from medical staff and teammates. The 30-year-old has played for clubs like Ajax, Tottenham and Inter Milan. He is currently on the books of English Premier League side Brentford.
6. Morten Olsen
Olsen is considered to be the most important player in the history of Danish football. Morten Olsen captained the Danish national team in 50 games during the 1980s and represented Denmark at the 1984 European Championship, 1986 FIFA World Cup, and 1988 European Championship.
He began his international career with the national team as a right-winger but eventually settled as a defensive midfielder. After he retired, he became the head coach of the Denmark national team from 2000 until 2015. Olsen is one of the two people in football to play and manage 100 international matches for their national team.
7. Allan Simonsen
Allan Simonsen was one of the most prolific goalscorers in the Danish national team. Simonsen scored one of the most important goals in Danish football history when he converted a penalty kick against English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The 1-0 win gave the Danish national team qualification their first international tournament since the 1972 Olympic Games and the first European Championship participation since the 1964 tournament. Simonsen was capped 55 times, scoring 20 goals.
Simonsen represented Denmark at the 1972 Summer Olympics, 1984 European Championship and 1986 World Cup tournaments. He is also the only footballer to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners’ Cup finals. He is also the only ever Danish footballer to win the Ballon d’Or, which he won in 1977.