Denmark are the underdogs in the Group of Death, and already been counted out as contenders of any sort. But, the Danes are famous for pulling out surprises.
Simon Kjær, 23, AS Roma (Italy), Defender, 23 international Caps
Kjær impressed early on with his club FC Midtjylland, in Denmark and earned a move to Italian club Palermo, when he was just 18, in 2008, a year after winning the Danish U-19 player of the year. He was named Danish talent of the Year, after a good first season in the Serie A, with Palermo. He played the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and put in impressive displays against Netherlands and Cameroon. This earned him a transfer to Bundesliga giants Wolfsburg, for a fee of £10million. However, despite a good start, his performances gradually faded, and he was quickly out of favor when there was a change in management. He moved to Italian side Roma on loan, but his performances are yet to improve, to his earlier level. For Denmark, however, he has been consistent alongside Liverpool’s Daniel Agger. He will have a lot to prove to his critics.
Christian Eriksen, 20, Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands), 22 international caps
A talented young attacking midfielder, and all of 20, Eriksen has already been compared to Dutch stalwarts Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart for his style of play. Despite offers from Milan, Chelsea and Barcelona for his signature from Danish side Odense Boldklub, he moved to Ajax instead, where he has been in sparkling form ever since. In his first full season, his statistics read an impressive 8 goals and 13 assists, and last season he scored 8 goals, and assisted a further 21. He won the Dutch Talent of the Year award in 2011. With praise coming from legends like John Cruyff and Frank Lampard, he was called up to the national side, for whom he has scored against Iceland and Scotland. He is being linked with a big money move to one of Europe’s top clubs.
Nicklas Bendtner, 24, Arsenal (England), 48 international caps
Brimming with self-confidence, and a flamboyant attitude, it would be fair to say Nicklas Bendtner has not been able to demonstrate the same on a football pitch. Having been a successful player in the reserves, he was loaned to Birmingham, where he impressed scoring 13 goals and 5 assists. He returned to Arsenal, and was consistent overall, scoring 45 goals over a period of 4 seasons. He was loaned to Sunderland last year, where he scored 8 goals in 27 games for the Black Cats. Bendtner has enjoyed a good time playing for his nation, where he has 18 goals to his name in 48 appearances, including strikes against Poland, Portugal, Cameroon and Brazil. With the ability to play on the flank, Euro 2012 will be the perfect stage for Bendtner to prove himself.