Faces of Football: Denmark - a letter to the national team

Image by Matthew Burt - 90min
Image by Matthew Burt - 90min /

Dear Danish national team,

How you fight for this country on the football field makes me proud to be Danish. I don’t think I have seen so many people be so happy and proud of our national team than they are right now. 

I don’t think Danish people have been as excited about a tournament as we are for this one - certainly not since we qualified for our first ever FIFA World Cup back in 1986 (and wore that classic Hummel kit). And that’s because this current team have made the country fall in love with football all over again. I know plenty of people who would never ever watch football, but when the national team is playing, it’s literally all they talk about.

You guys are putting Denmark on the map, becoming everybody from other countries' second team because of the enthusiasm you play with in every single game. Whenever I’m in another country and people find that I’m Danish they are immediately full of praise for the national team. 

The team truly brings people together. I remember celebrating the fourth goal in the Euro 2020 win over Wales with a guy working behind a counter. We jumped around the shop and hugged like old friends, despite having never met one another before! 

That unity and friendship isn’t simply found in the good, celebratory moments though, it’s found in the bad ones too. 

After the defeat to Croatia on penalties in the last World Cup in Russia, while standing still in the middle of Roskilde Festival, distraught and staring blankly at nothing, a woman came over to me and gave me a hug to console me. She simply came over, hugged me in consolation of the World Cup exit, asked me if I was ok, and then left. I’d never met her before and I’ll never meet her again. That shows how the team can bring people together, even just for a solitary moment, in good times and in bad. 

When you play, every person in Denmark is one. 

No matter if you’re rich or poor, tall or short, and no matter what skin color you have. 

Everybody is one when you are out on that pitch. That’s the power you have. And I’m looking forward to experiencing that unity once again during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.