As the 2015/2016 domestic season comes to end, football fans on the continent don’t have to fear being without their beloved game for very long as the European Championships take pride of place in France. With 4 weeks of entertainment, many passionate fans will be glued to the 50 matches to see how their nation fares in the new look 24 team Euro 2016, many iconic name will grace the turf and clubs from all over the world will be represented but out of the 552 players going to France, only 6 ply their trade in Danish Superliga.
With the likes of Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Wales taking full advantage of the unique 24 team expansion instead of the regular 16, the qualifying stages for Euro 2016 saw a renewed hope for middle to lower tier nations to finally have a chance as they knew that even third place in their group would provide an opportunity to qualify. Sadly for Denmark, they will have to be a spectator this summer after missing out on the French gathering to Portugal, Albania and then Sweden in the play-offs, Many more chances for star player Christian Eriksen to grace in the future but the likes of Daniel Agger, Lars Jacobsen and even Nicklas Bendtner may have seen this as their last international swansong.
But what about the players who will represent the Danish Superliga?, only 6 made the cut to their country’s final 23 man squad, this is a tiny fraction compared to other nations leagues such as England who have 103 and Germany who have 57. The 6 players are representing only 3 countries, Sweden, Iceland and Turkey, the clubs they represent consist of 3 from current 2015/16 champions FC Copenhagen and 1 each from AGF Aarhus, OB Odense and FC Nordsjaelland.
Sweden boss Erik Hamren has opted to take 3 of the title winning FC Copenhagen back 5; they are goalkeeper Robin Olsen, defenders Ludwig Augistinsson and Erik Johansson. Inevitably Olsen will have to play second fiddle to Swedish goalkeeping stalwart Andreas Isaksson, with only 3 caps to his name 22 year old Ludwig Augistinsson will be lucky to see any playing time. Out of the 3 players it seems Erik Johansson will manage to make a mark on the first 11, Johansson has 8 caps to his name and featured for Sweden in the Euro play offs against Denmark. Sweden was drawn in Group E with Belgium, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.
Former Swedish boss and co Iceland manager Lars Lagerback selected 2 Superliga players for his Euro squad. 29 year old Theodor Elmar Bjarnason who plays his club football for AGF Aarhus will no doubt fight for a midfield spot, with 25 caps he was a regular in the famous Iceland qualification process despite having a disappointing club season. Joining him will be Odense’s Ari Skulason. The OB player has 36 national caps and despite naturally being a midfielder he filled in at the left back for the majority of Iceland’s qualification. Iceland was drawn in Group F with Portugal, Hungary and Austria.
The last player to be selected from the Danish Superliga raised many eyebrows, Danish born 18 year old Emre Mor. Having played under at many youth international levels for Denmark, Mor opted to play for his country of his parents descent and made his full Turkey debut in 2016, The FC Nordjaelland midfielder was seen as bright star for Denmark’s future and has been linked with many top clubs across Europe after his displays in the Superliga. Mor will look to build on his 1 cap for Turkey this summer but will no doubt be viewing his nations matches from the bench. Turkey was drawn in Group D with holders Spain, Croatia and Czech Republic.