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Led by some of Europe's elite
Denmark qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals for the third time when they thrashed Iceland 6-0 in their final 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan qualifier in October. The Danes impressed throughout in a closely-fought group, from which they emerged unbeaten, having scored more and let in fewer goals than their nearest rivals, the Czech Republic.
The side is peppered with top internationals, most of whom play outside Denmark. The British-based contingent includes Thomas Gravesen of Everton and Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, who has made a significant impression since taking over from the legendary Peter Schmeichel.
Much hope is also placed on Jesper Gronkjaer of Chelsea. The former Ajax man missed the final qualifying game after incurring a serious knee injury, but should be fit in time for the finals. Meanwhile, pulling the strings in the middle of the park are Thomas Helveg of AC Milan and Martin Jorgensen, who also plies his trade in the Italian Serie A at Udinese.
Up front the Danes are very strong. Schalke 04's Ebbe Sand having developed into one of European football's top marksmen, leading the German Bundesliga in 2000-01 with 22 goals. Alongside him, John Dahl Tomasson of Feyenoord weighed in with some vital strikes in the qualifiers.
The current Danish coach, Morten Olsen, came to prominence as a player. He recently signed a long-term contract to continue in charge of the national team and is assisted by another former fan favourite, Michael Laudrup.
Significant past players:
Brian Laudrup, Peter Schmeichel, Michael Laudrup, Preben Elkjaer, Morten Olsen.
-- Quarter-final 1998 FIFA World Cup France
-- 4th UEFA European Championship Spain 1964
-- Semi-final UEFA European Championship France 1984
-- Champion UEFA European Championship Sweden 1992
-- Runner-up Olympic Games 1908, 1912, 1960
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