Denmark – Euro 2012
What are the expectations for the team?
We ended up in what is definitely the most difficult group with two of the three favourites, Germany and Holland. We are unlikely to make it to the knockout phase. We hope to beat Portugal, as we did when we qualified for the finals. Our main hope is also to see our rejuvenated, capable team playing some nice football.
Is the coach popular?
Among connoisseurs, Morten Olsen has always been respected for being able to make the best of something. The team might not be full of excellent players, but even in a time of many injuries and suspensions, Olsen has always been able to produce replacements from the domestic Superliga. Nobody expected much of players such as Jakob Poulsen from FC Midtjylland or Andreas Bjelland from FC Nordsjaelland, whose performances against Sweden and Portugal turned out to be decisive in the last two qualification campaigns.
Which players are good interviewees and who are worst?
No one excels in particular. Simon Kjaer and Nicklas Bendtner are both more sullen and defensive than the average player. Olsen spent most of his adult life in Belgium and is notorious for his abuse of the word "notoriously" ("vitterlig" in Danish). Sometimes he even invents his owns neologisms like "automatichanic", "polyvalent" and "touperings", words that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.
Will there be any rehearsed goal celebrations?
Not at all. Denmark very rarely win with a big enough margin to allow players to do prepared celebrations. Goals tend to come either as a relief, against smaller teams, or as a surprise, against the better ones. In both cases the scorer runs to a corner flag just to lie down.
What will the media coverage be like?
The coverage is shared by the two major public broadcasters, DR and TV2. The host on DR is Peter Moeller, a former loanee at Fulham. These channels do not have the same high-profile commentators and pundits as the broadcaster TV3, which owns the rights to the Champions League. Their coverage is hosted by Peter Schmeichel and includes pundits Brian Laudrup, Preben Elkjaer and Jan Molby.
Will many fans travel to the finals?
The Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Kharkiv, where Denmark will play their three group games, are generally seen as being too far away and hardly worth the trip. But the team has procured the best possible, and most popular, support by letting the hip-hop pop duo Nik & Jay write the official anthem, Vi vandt i dagga (We won today). Nik & Jay are Dennis Rommedahl's favourite band. Among Danes over the age of 20, the group are primarily famous for a hit in which they sing about a sunset that takes place so far to the east of Denmark that the sun could not possibly go down there. Kasper Steenbach
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