"The almost perfect year for the national team has had an almost perfect end": after a pleasing Euro, Denmark clinched its qualification for the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday thanks to an impressive clear round of eight wins in as many games .
Winners of Austria (1-0) in front of his audience of enthusiastic “roligans” in a full Parken stadium, the Danes imitated the Germans, the day before the first to pocket their ticket for Qatar on the field.
Better, Simon Kjaer and his teammates are now "ready for the World Cup sooner than ever", notes the daily Politiken. The whole of the small Scandinavian kingdom is in jubilation, starting with the head of government Mette Frederiksen who displayed her enthusiasm on Instagram. " Good game ! “, She congratulated under a photo of her and her sports minister both dressed in red.
"It's as if Denmark and its national team have fallen in love again," Andreas Kraul, commentator for the public channel DR, noted for AFP.
Favorites against Austria, the Danes nevertheless had a difficult first half, before the deliverance thanks to Atalanta Bergamo player Joakim Maehle in the 53rd minute, "again a magical moment in a magical year of football" , emphasizes
“What a trip”, enthuses BT for his part, “Provided he never ends”.
During the last Euro, partially disputed on their land, the Reds and Whites had impressed beyond the football world by their cohesion after the cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen in Copenhagen, in the middle of a match against Finland.
"It made them grow up"
They also dedicated their victory to him on Tuesday. For Andreas Kraul, "the incident was clearly constitutive for the group, which has become more than just a team". “It made them grow up,” he said. After the immense fear, the Danes had climbed to the semi-final of the Euro, before losing 2-1 after extra time against England, arch-favorite in front of their Wembley audience, on a controversial penalty.
Tuesday's game against Austria was “one of the best nights in Parken for a long time.
It's great, ”said striker Joakim Maehle.
"We did something great together," said goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The Danes flew over the competition in their group F: in addition to their card full of eight wins, they scored 27 goals and did not concede any.
Offensive like never before
This team even made Danish football history with 42 goals scored in 2021, before the last two games in November, shattering a record dating back almost 60 years (32 goals scored in 1962). Which gives them ambition: “The last time, we were in the semi-final (of the Euro). I want more, we want more. There, we will play the World Cup and we want more, ”summed up at the end of the match captain Simon Kjaer, nominated for the Golden Ball for the first time in his career.
Improbable heroes on whom nobody bet six months ago, "they play football which pleases in Denmark and abroad and which in addition is pleasant to watch", summarizes Andreas Kraul.
The German tabloid
even named them "team of the year", but the coach has humility well pegged to the body.
"It is worth the trouble to pinch (…) There are so many people who have a part in this success", recalled Kasper Hjulmand.
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World Cup 2022