Posts Tagged Elkjaer
The first edition of the FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. It took 56 long years, until 1986, for Denmark to finally qualify for the tournament. Compared to their group opponents Uruguay, winners of that 1930 World Cup, Denmark were babies.
But after the 1986 tournament, the world wondered how the World Cup could have survived all those 56 years without a team so bright, adventurous and joyful as the Denmark of Olsen, Laudrup and Elkjaer.
The contenders: two small European nations, both without much of a legacy in international football, but both in possession of a genuinely promising generation. The prize: a place in the semi-final of Euro 1984. That’s the basic premise of Denmark vs Belgium, the final match in Group 1 of Euro 1984.
Two years after this match, Denmark and Belgium, with nearly identical teams, would set the World Cup in Mexico alight with legendary performances. And for that reason, the names that appear in this 1984 clash still carry a poetic sound for many a Danish or Belgian football fan.
Go to any café in Brussels, say the names of Pfaff, Grün, Vercauteren, Scifo and Ceulemans, and you’ll find grown men stop their conversation and suddenly gaze dreamily into the distance.
The Danish names are famous beyond their own borders: Morten Olsen, Michael Laudrup, Frank Arnesen, Preben Elkjaer, Soren Lerby….for the Danes, Euro 1984 marked the fuse of the Danish Dynamite.
Despite its small size, Denmark has been the birthplace of a large quantity of excellent attack-minded players. From Juventus legends Karl Aage Praest and John Hansen, to the members of the Danish Wave at Ajax: Lerby, Arnesen, Olsen and Molby. And from Ballon d’Or podium men Elkjaer and Simonsen, to the inevitable Laudrup brothers. Together, they form a collection of talent that arouses the envy of many a larger nation.
So how would an ideal All-Time Denmark XI look? Possibly like this:
Read the rest of this entry »
The opening game of Euro 1984 was a classic match between two excellent teams. It’s not a lie to state that in 1984 both France and Denmark could field the greatest team they’d ever had in their history up till that point.
The French, playing on home soil, featured Platini in his peak, assisted on midfield by fellow greats such as Giresse, Tigana and Fernandez. After their great showing in the 1982 World Cup, they were the favourites to win Euro 1984.
For the Danes, this was only their first international tournament. But with excellent players like Morten Olsen, Soren Lerby, Preben Elkjaer and a 19 year old Michael Laudrup, they felt confident they could take on the very best. In fact they had knocked out England in qualification by beating them on Wembley itself. So why not try to beat France in Paris’ Parc des Princes as well?
Preben Elkjaer proved three things in his career: You don’t have to be short to be a sensational dribbler. You don’t have to be serious to be successful. And you don’t need shoes to score goals.
With his crazy dribbles, tank-like physique and clownish actions Preben Elkjaer was perhaps Europe’s most eye-catching player in the mid 80’s. He led both club and country to unprecedented success and finished twice on the podium of the Ballon d’Or. But how many football fans today are still familiar with Elkjaer?
Far too few. One place where they’ll never forget him though is the Italian city of Verona. It was there that Elkjaer achieved the greatest upset of not just his career, but the entire history of Italian football. In the 1984-85 season not the great Juventus, or AC Milan, or Inter, or Maradona´s Napoli, or even AS Roma managed to win the Scudetto. Instead, it was Elkjaer’s Hellas Verona. The Danish dribbler stole the show by scoring the iconic goal of that campaign against Platini´s Juventus. As he launched another solo, he lost his right boot, kept going, glided past another defender, and scored with his sock. The footage of this famous goal is included in the special video 4Dfoot created for this edition of Forgotten Footballer:
Elkjaer’s exploits changed Italian football. Read the rest of this entry »
Winning Euro 1992 is Denmark’s biggest achievement, but it was in the mid 80′s that they were truly at their best. Playing carefree and attacking football, they made a surprisingly big impact during Euro 1984. It was their first major tournament, but only a lost penalty-series against Spain prevented them from reaching the final. Now the team had set its sights on qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in history. The obstacle placed in their path was an exceptional USSR side featuring stars such as striker Igor Belanov, who’d win the Ballon d’Or a year later. Nobody would have blamed the Danes had they adopted a cautious approach against the mighty Soviet-Union. But caution wasn’t part of this Denmark’s vocabulary. Counting on the magnificent dribbling talents of Jesper Olsen, Preben Elkjaer and Michael Laudrup, they took on the USSR in style. The result? A scintillating and unforgettable encounter.
Dasejev – Sulakvelidze, Pozdniakov, Baltacha, Demyanenko – Litovchenko, Aleinikov, Gavrilov, Gotsmanov – Protasov, Belanov
Coach: Eduard Malofeev
Qvist – Busk, Morten Olsen, Nielsen - Berggreen, Bertelsen, Arnesen, Lerby, Jesper Olsen – Laudrup, Elkjaer
Coach: Sepp Piontek
Part 1 – http://hotfile.com/dl/188109247/2fbeaea/1985_-_Denmark_-_USSR_-_First_Half.part1.rar.html
Part 2 – http://hotfile.com/dl/188106364/b740326/1985_-_Denmark_-_USSR_-_First_Half.part2.rar.html
Part 1 – http://hotfile.com/dl/188109198/c5c0335/1985_-_Denmark_-_USSR_-_Second_half.part1.rar.html
Part 2 – http://hotfile.com/dl/188106184/38b0888/1985_-_Denmark_-_USSR_-_Second_half.part2.rar.html