Prior to England facing Denmark in the Euro2020 semi-finals, Danish European Championship player and Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen said the Danish team had received a lot of support from England following Christian Eriksen’s collapse.
That is, until Denmark got through to play England in the semi-finals.
“We had an incredible number of supporters in England and we have been their favorite team so far,” Andreas Christensen said. “That has changed. Now we have become their enemies.”
But Christiansen himself said he thinks Denmark’s chances are good, despite England being the favorites: “As a team, I would not say they are that much better.”
Denmark’s head coach Kasper Hjulmand said Denmark is full of belief after its 1-0 victory over England in October in the Nations League. “They have a lot of support but also a lot of pressure on them.”
He referred to the fact that England hasn’t been in a major final since the World Cup in 1966.
— Max Foster (@MaxFosterCNN) July 7, 2021
— Dapper Laughs (@dapperlaughs) July 7, 2021
That’s when Denmark – home of the jante law, an informal, egalitarian set of cultural commandments which can best be summarised as ‘You think you’re better than me?’ – stepped in to knock England down a notch.
When an English journalist asked Danish national team goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who plays for Premier League club Leicester, what it would mean for him if he crushed England’s dream to bring the trophy home, Schmeichel replied with a bit of snark.
— DBU – En Del Af Noget Større (@DBUfodbold) July 6, 2021
“Has it ever been home? Have you ever won it?”
When the journalist said the trophy had been home in 1966, Schmeichel reminded him that it was the World Cup, not the European Championships. Eliciting smiles and laughter from his teammates, the comment went viral on social media Tuesday night, prompting responses from fans.
— Mikael Lemberg (@Lemberg) July 6, 2021
Once the laughter died down, Schmeichel said he wasn’t thinking much about England.
“I think about what it will mean for our country at home,” Schmeichel said. “The joy it will bring in a country with only 5.5 million inhabitants to be able to do something like that.”
However, England does have the home advantage, with the match held at Wembley in London. Although 8,000 tickets have been set aside for Danish fans, the remaining 54,000 seats are likely to be filled mostly by fans of England.
Denmark’s national lottery, Danske Spil, puts the odds of Denmark winning in the July 7th match at 18 percent, mostly because of the difficulty of playing them on their turf.
“England is a clear favorite against Denmark,” said Mathias Reimer Larsen, who is the odds setter in Danske Spil. “Additionally, the home court advantage adds another dimension.”
But Danes are betting against the odds. Eighty-two percent of bets have been placed on a Danish victory in the semi-final.
Berlingske’s correspondent in Britain, Poul Høi, writes why he thinks part of the reason Danes are so motivated to win Wednesday’s match has to do with what he calls the “Daily Mail syndrome” from which many English supporters suffer.
What is the Daily Mail syndrome? According to Høi, it’s the way English supporters don’t just feel the need for England to win, but for others to lose. “A victory for England will be intolerable,” he writes.
And so, barbs are flying from both sides of the North Sea.
British tabloid The Sun placed in Danish tabloid BT showing a picture of white bread with a cross made out of bacon, resembling an English flag (bacon is Denmark’s largest export to the country).
The ad reads “We eat you for breakfast.”
@TheSun “Remember to eat your breakfast kids and once you will grow big and strong like Denmark and win the European Championship” 😂
— Peter Thomsen (@PeterTh96891816) July 7, 2021
BT’s ad, which ran in The Sun, shows a group of Danish vikings and reads “It’s not coming home… We’re coming home!”
It’s a theme we’ve also seen in Politiken’s daily cartoons:
We’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow’s cartoon will bring.