The Danes are crazy about football – which is probably why they are in the play-offs so often

The Danes are crazy about football – which is probably why they are in the play-offs so often

In Denmark, Norwegian football will always be somewhat primitive, hence the nickname “Mountain Monkeys”. The last time Norway beat the Danes in football was in 1998, and it was with what the Swedes called a 'dödgraverfotboll'. But at the time, Norway at least managed to reach the tournament.

They are: Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hoglund, the past and future, but also the present of Danish national football. Photograph: Liselotte Sabro/AFP/NTP

Now Saturday's match at Brondby is not important, it is not about points. But there is always a degree of prestige when Scandinavians meet each other.

It is the last training match for the Danes before the European Championship. It is Norway's last match before the Autumn Nations League. Two worlds, and the football history of the two countries is somewhat similar.

And here is my claim: Denmark have always looked down on Norwegian football, and to some extent rightly so, and at other times with an arrogance that is not in keeping with the football they play.

But perhaps it was that self-confidence, bordering on arrogance, that led them to all the play-offs Norway could have hoped for.

It is now a training match, but for Stål Solbakken and the Norwegian national team, it should be a great source of inspiration – meeting a European Championship-ready country in a neighboring match, where they can see what the national team manager always believes – that Norway should have Cannes in the European group in Germany. .

Neither Martin Odegaard nor Erling Braut Haaland had been born the last time Norway beat Denmark, on April 22, 1998. Goals from Øyvind Leonardsen and Tore Andre Flo secured a 2-0 win in what was then called 'Edertsparken' in Copenhagen. Current Norwegian national team manager Ståle Solbakken controlled the midfield at his future stadium.

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Meeting of Champions: This photo was taken before Norway's last win over Denmark, in April 1998. Here, former Norway captain Rune Bratseth greets Manchester United coach, Alex Ferguson. Just two years ago, Bratseth was wanted by Ferguson at United. VG commentator can be seen in the middle of the photo. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/VG

At the time, both Denmark and Norway were preparing for the World Cup in France in just over a month.

Now only Denmark in Scandinavia qualifies for the qualifiers.

Denmark has participated in 15 play-off matches since achieving the “Danish Dynamite” in 1984. Something happened to Danish football in the 1970s that catapulted them into the “new era” of Danish national football. Alan Simonsen won the Ballon d'Or in 1984. In 1977, it was Denmark has top players at top clubs in Europe, such as Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Ajax, and PSV Eindhoven.

Before 1984, the Danes had only made one playoff appearance – in 1964.

But as a young Michael Laudrup forced his way through defenses in the 1980s, something happened to Danish football: confidence arrived, and the Danes used the momentum left behind in the 1984 semi-final to reach eight of the 10 play-offs.

Between 1982 and 2006, only two finals were played without Denmark – the 1990 World Cup and the 1994 World Cup.

Norway also had some kind of momentum – with Drillo taking the lead in 1994. But where the Danes held out for 20 years, they made three play-off appearances in Norway's four attempts – before the Norwegian football nation ended up in a kind of perpetuity. The creep, which is still ongoing, 24 years after the last playoff game.

Perhaps this is because Denmark, as well as Sweden, have remained true to their style of play, while Norway has changed their playing style from one national team coach to another.

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Niklas Bendtner is also faithful to the style:

In this sense, it is perhaps not surprising that Norway rarely outperforms Denmark in inland settlements, even though the number of people living in Denmark is only half a million (5.9 million versus 5.4 million).

In the past 40 years, Norway has met Denmark in European Commission and World Cup qualifiers on three occasions. In 1984, under Tor Rusti Vossen, Norway lost 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Parken. But in the second leg we felt something big when Norway took a 1-0 lead at Ulleval Stadium. Then came the blunder that Åge Hareide has never overcome as a player – and the Danes eventually won 5-1 in Oslo.

Denmark traveled to the bathroom in Mexico, and Norway stayed home as usual.

Later, Nils Johan Semp and Egil Olsen both participated in the European Commission qualifiers for Norway against Denmark. They both tied at home, but both lost away from home.

Denmark traveled to the qualifiers, and Norway stayed at home.

The Norwegian statistics against Denmark over the past 50 years are complete nonsense.

In Denmark, Norway achieved one win and one draw in 11 attempts. At home, Norway has achieved three wins in 12 attempts. Only Drillo and Tor Rusti Vossen are national team managers in the last 50 years who have managed to beat Denmark.

In this sense, this corresponds to the number of play-off matches Denmark played against Norway.

But it would have been fun to beat the Danes a little with a win on Saturday night.

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Comments: Knut Espen Svegaarden from VG. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/F.J

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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