Denmark 92 or Greece 04

Lay

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Two of the biggest shock champions at an International tournament. When it comes to Greece, its usually seen as one of the greatest shocks and rightly so, but what about Denmark? They didn't even qualify for the 1992 tournament but entered the tournament due to Yugoslavia breaking up. Michael Laudrup didn't even go to the Euro's as he reportedly didn't want to end his holidays. So without arguably their best player, they went on to win a tournament they weren't good enough to qualify for. They beat Germany 2-0 in the final, a German team that had Klinsmann, Sammer, Brehme and Effenberg and had beaten the holders, Netherlands on penalties in the semi finals.

Greece winning the tournament, beating the hosts Portugal twice, including the final and beating the holders in France is highly impressive. Beating a great Czech team along the way with if memory serves me right was with a silver goal.

Which of the two was the greater shock and which team was more impressive?

Denmark beat France, Netherlands and Germany to win it.
Greece beat Portugal x2 Czech Republic and France.
 
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Alex99

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France weren't world cup holders in 04. Still Denmark though.
 
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Greece. There were only 8 teams in 1992.

both great achievements - but in terms of overachievement it is definitely Greece.
 

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Both teams were better than they get credit for. It's true Denmark didn't qualify directly but it was only by 1 point and at the time it was a 8 team tournament rather than 16 so it was tougher to qualify. Greece were a team made for that type of tournament, very tough to break down, good at set pieces and lots of experience. They finished qualification very strongly and had finished ahead of Spain there too.
 

alexthelion

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Two of the biggest shock champions at an International tournament. When it comes to Greece, its usually seen as one of the greatest shocks and rightly so, but what about Denmark? They didn't even qualify for the 1992 tournament but entered the tournament due to Yugoslavia breaking up. Michael Laudrup didn't even go to the Euro's as he reportedly didn't want to end his holidays. So without arguably their best player, they went on to win a tournament they weren't good enough to qualify for. They beat Germany 2-0 in the final, a German team that had Klinsmann, Sammer, Brehme and Effenberg and had beaten the holders, Netherlands on penalties in the semi finals.

Greece winning the tournament, beating the hosts Portugal twice, including the final and beating the holders in France is highly impressive. Beating a great Czech team along the way with if memory serves me right was with a silver goal.

Which of the two was the greater shock and which team was more impressive?

Denmark beat France, Netherlands and Germany to win it.
Greece beat Portugal x2 Czech Republic and France.
Denmark as they were non-qualifiers.



Ps: I was in hospital having a renal biopsy when the final took place. All I remember is the first and last goals but nothing in between.
 

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Greece for me as biggest shock. Denmark at least had some world class players.

Greece could just defend. They did it well admittedly but just about every round they squeaked through you were watching thinking no way.
 

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Denmark had far more talented team.

Greece was Leicester style really although they did actually finish above Spain in the qualifiers (and won 1-0 in Spain which was their first home defeat in a long time in a competitive game). Had some decent players in major leagues like Stelios and the ones in Italy but it was still an amazing achievement particularly as they've struggled to make many tournaments since while it's always a surprise when the Danes don't make it.
 

horsechoker

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The circumstances around Denmark's victory were more incredible.

Michel Laudrup deciding to go on holiday instead should be a lesson to players.
 

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Easy, Greece bigger shock, Denmark better team
 

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Greece for me, they didnt had one single quality player on the squad. A lot of luck and a well organized defence, is not something I think we'll see soon.
 

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Denmark. I think i remember a danish player having an awful knee injury in that game. In those times the tv would show you the injury.
 

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Greece for me. Purely because I was in Queens living around a load of Greeks.
The night they won was fecking epic. Some session
 

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Greece for me, they didnt had one single quality player on the squad. A lot of luck and a well organized defence, is not something I think we'll see soon.
They had 2...

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Greece winning anything is the bigger event. Denmark of the 80's into early 90's carried a reputation and had plaudits for their style of play. Greece were no marks before the tournament with no status or history behind them.
 

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While it does add to the story that Denmark initially didn't qualify, it must be remembered that Euro 92 only featured 8 teams, therefore you could argue that Denmark were the 9th strongest team in Europe. Greece were 80-1 to win going into Euro 2004 as opposed to Denmark's 20-1 in 1992.
 

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The circumstances around Denmark's victory were more incredible.

Michel Laudrup deciding to go on holiday instead should be a lesson to players.
He hated the style they were playing under Richard Moller Nielsen so it was a bit of a personal boycott I think anyway.
 

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I walked past a bookies just before euro 2004 and they had a poster advertising Greece to win the tournament at 500/1. I told my girlfriend at the time I fancied a tenner on it but as I’d just spent £40 on championship manager so she wouldn’t let me.
 
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They beat Germany 2-0 in the final, a German team that had Klinsmann, Sammer, Brehme and Effenberg and had beaten the holders, Netherlands on penalties in the semi finals.
Why was Lothar Matthäus absent?
 

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Greece winning it was more shocking, even in hindsight — a once-in-lifetime perfect storm for a team that had the second lowest UEFA coefficient during the draw. Both Greece and Denmark faced an equal number of teams with higher pre-tournament Elo ratings (France-Spain-Czech Republic-Portugal in 2004 vs. Germany-England-France-Netherlands in 1992 and coincidentally lost to the team with the lowest ratings: Russia/Sweden), but the former didn't have as robust of a footballing tradition (hadn't qualified for a major international competition since the 1994 World Cup where they failed to score a single goal while conceding 10) or as accomplished of a team over the era as the latter (who had regularly exported several players to major leagues and the biggest clubs).

Simply qualifying atop Group 6 was a feat and a half as Spain had the likes of Raúl, Joaquín, Baraja, Valerón and Ukraine had Shevchenko, Voronin, Rebrov (albeit in decline), Tymoshchuk and co. Beat Spain once in the qualifiers, Portugal in the opening game of a tournament that should have been the crowning moment of the Golden Generation considering the talents of Figo, Rui Costa, Couto were being supplemented with the Champions League winning cohort of Deco, Carvalho and the electric Ronaldo, tied with Spain, then didn't concede a single goal vs. France, Czech Republic and the hosts again (in the Estádio da Luz to boot, that's supposed to be Portugal's Wembley/Maracanã).

Even though they rode their luck at times (in fairness very few tournament winners are absolutely dominant from start to finish), the victories were clean and deserved and non-controversial for the most part — with no great evidence of bias/assistance from the officials and no need for extra time either. Commitment to the max and nigh faultless execution of Rehhagel's defensive + aerial + transition + set-piece strategy as they simply didn't have the individual technical quality to play the most subjectively captivating football in possession on a consistent basis to please certain gate-keeping purist snobs. Still have fond memories of Nikopolidis + Dellas + Zagorakis + Charisteas, bunch of lions! :drool:
 

RedRonaldo

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Greece is definitely bigger shock.
With Denmark you they still have some genuine worldclass players in their team - Laudrup and Schmeichel, do anything could happen. With Greece I can’t even recall any decent players there.
 

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They had 2...

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Greece winning anything is the bigger event. Denmark of the 80's into early 90's carried a reputation and had plaudits for their style of play. Greece were no marks before the tournament with no status or history behind them.
Which ones? Their star was Charisteas hardly a quality player, he played if I remember well in the bundesliga and was hardly a notable player there.
 

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Which ones? Their star was Charisteas hardly a quality player, he played if I remember well in the bundesliga and was hardly a notable player there.
Seitaridis and Dellas were quickly identified as rocks in their side. I think a number of players did well in their roles, but Seitaridis and Dellas looked outstanding, rightfully earning places in the team of the tournament. Seitaridis could have gone on to a big club as his star shone the brightest, although even Porto, who were CL holders then, were a huge real coming from Greek football as he did.

Zagorakis and Christeas earned plaudits for their tireless work and graft, but the former two looked like real quality.

Of course, pre-tournament, they were a bunch of no marks expected to be trounced and out the tournament in bottom place in their group.
 

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Greece winning it was more shocking, even in hindsight — a once-in-life-time perfect storm. Both Greece and Denmark faced an equal number of teams with higher pre-tournament Elo ratings (France-Spain-Czech Republic-Portugal in 2004 vs. Germany-England-France-Netherlands in 1992), but the former didn't have as robust of a footballing tradition (hadn't qualified for a major international competition since the 1994 World Cup where they failed to score a single goal while conceding 10) or as accomplished of a team over the era as the latter (who had also exported several players to major leagues and the biggest clubs).

Simply qualifying atop Group 6 was a feat and a half as Spain had the likes of Raúl, Joaquín, Baraja, Valerón and Ukraine had Shevchenko, Voronin, Tymoshchuk and co. Beat Spain once in the qualifiers, Portugal in the opening game of a tournament that should have been the crowning moment of the Golden Generation considering the talents of Figo, Rui Costa, Couto were being supplemented with the Champions League winning cohort of Deco, Carvalho and the electric Ronaldo, tied with Spain, then didn't concede a single goal vs. France, Czech Republic and the hosts again (in the Estádio da Luz to boot, that's supposed to be Portugal's Wembley/Maracanã).

Even though they rode their luck at times (in fairness very few tournament winners are absolutely dominant from start to finish), the victories were clean and deserved and non-controversial for the most part — with no great evidence of bias/assistance from the officials and no need for extra time either. Commitment to the max and nigh faultless execution of Rehhagel's defensive + aerial + transition strategy as they simply didn't have the quality to play the most subjectively captivating football in possession on a consistent basis to please certain purist snobs. Still have fond memories of Nikopolidis + Dellas + Zagorakis + Charisteas, bunch of lions! :drool:
Couto already didn't go to the Euros actually and both Figo and Rui Costa weren't in their primes anymore. We were better in 2002 when we went out in the group stages for that World Cup and we were definitely much better in 2000 so that 2004 team really wasn't as good as the names on the team sheet might suggest, it had several weak points that Greece exploited perfectly twice. Porto's CL winning team was the formula for that team with Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Nuno Valente, Deco, Maniche and Costinha in the team. So 6 players played both the CL and Euros final that year and it should have been 7 with Vitor Baía instead of Ricardo. People remember our golden generation as being 2004 and 2006 when we got to the Euros final and to the WC semis but the golden generation were the guys that won the U-20 World Cup back to back in 1991 which were pretty much all gone from the national team by 2004. 1996 to 2002 were the years for the golden generation but 1998 and 2002 ended in disaster for several reasons. From 2004 and onwards Deco, Carvalho and Ronaldo were already our best players rather than the likes of Figo or Rui Costa.

England, the Czech Republic, France and maybe even the dutch or the spanish had better teams than us in 2004 but home advantage played a big part. At the time we couldn't believe our luck that Greece had knocked out France and the czechs... I remember people celebrating it even though we had already lost to them in the first game.
 

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Seitaridis and Dellas were quickly identified as rocks in their side. I think a number of players did well in their roles, but Seitaridis and Dellas looked outstanding, rightfully earning places in the team of the tournament. Seitaridis could have gone on to a big club as his star shone the brightest, although even Porto, who were CL holders then, were a huge real coming from Greek football as he did.

Zagorakis and Christeas earned plaudits for their tireless work and graft, but the former two looked like real quality.

Of course, pre-tournament, they were a bunch of no marks expected to be trounced and out the tournament in bottom place in their group.
exactly, and none of them really achieved Anything remotely close to winning the euro after either.
 

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exactly, and none of them really achieved Anything remotely close to winning the euro after either.
Seitaridis, it's a question of whether he could maintain that level in a defensive minded side, which he didn't go to. With Dellas, I think it was a good defender being a great one for a period of time.

The buzz around Seitaridis was different, though. If he'd waited it out, a bigger club than Porto would've gone in for him that summer (Real, Milan and a few English clubs were rumoured), but understandably, he and his team were way out of their league and jumped at Porto prematurely. Don't blame him, but his path could've been different.
 

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Both played dire football throughout. I remember reading the excellent book Danish Dynamite and apparently many football fans in Denmark hold the 86 team in much higher regard for the football they played.
 

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Michel Laudrup deciding to go on holiday instead should be a lesson to players.
Most of the other players actually returned from their holidays to play. They probably hadn't trained much leading up to the tournament either.
 

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I just remember Greece being an ultra defensive team who scraped by on occasional set pieces.

Dreadful style of play and a shock that it worked at that high level.
Great achievement though and i dare say i was supporting the underdog once we went out.
It just showed what a real chance of a trophy we had before Rooney got injured
 

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Both played dire football throughout. I remember reading the excellent book Danish Dynamite and apparently many football fans in Denmark hold the 86 team in much higher regard for the football they played.
Yep, the 1986 World Cup team had a better class of players, too: Elkjær had led Verona to the Serie A title and was runner up in the 1985 Ballon D'Or behind Platini, Morten Olsen is the best Danish defender ever — and was rated as the best sweeper of the tournament by Kicker, Søren Lerby was an ace midfielder...Arnesen was very capable too and there were other quality players like Jan Mølby, and of course Michael Laudrup was one of the best young footballers in the world at the time. That group, especially Elkjær and Laudrup, also produced what is probably the most emphatic performance in a World Cup by the national team vs. Uruguay...



The bulk of the 1986 team had reached the EURO 1984 semi-finals as well (losing to Spain, who also eliminated them in Mexico). The 1992 team was a bit humdrum in comparison with the Danish Dynamite generation.
 

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Michael Laudrup had left the national team a year and a half before, three games into the qualification for Euro '92, so he was not just on a summer holiday.

Greece was a shock.. I can't name one single player from that team.
 

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Denmark. I think i remember a danish player having an awful knee injury in that game. In those times the tv would show you the injury.
That was Henrik Andersen in a duel with van Basten in the semi vs Holland. He was screaming in pain and shock with cameras zooming in. He had played a great tournament until then.

 

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Yep, the 1986 World Cup team had a better class of players, too: Elkjær had led Verona to the Serie A title and was runner up in the 1985 Ballon D'Or behind Platini, Morten Olsen is the best Danish defender ever — and was rated as the best sweeper of the tournament by Kicker, Søren Lerby was an ace midfielder...Arnesen was very capable too and there were other quality players like Jan Mølby, and of course Michael Laudrup was one of the best young footballers in the world at the time. That group, especially Elkjær and Laudrup, also produced what is probably the most emphatic performance in a World Cup by the national team vs. Uruguay...



The bulk of the 1986 team had reached the EURO 1984 semi-finals as well (losing to Spain, who also eliminated them in Mexico). The 1992 team was a bit humdrum in comparison with the Danish Dynamite generation.
I agree. Even though we won in 1992, most people would say that the team from '84 and '86 was much better, and rightly so imo. There was also your own Jesper Olsen who was a great player for Denmark then.
 

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Even as a Greek it was a shock. In a matter of 13 months we won against Spain and Ukraine in the qualifications, won vs Portugal twice, tied against Spain, won against France and Czech Republic, which I still claim was the best team in the tournament for me by far. Only the win against the Czech Republic was sheer luck, with Nedved getting substituted in the first half because of an injury, and the rest of the Czechs aiming mostly at the crossbars.

We knew the team was not that bad though. Dellas was a solid defender, Katsouranis a talented midfielder who made a decent career in Portugal. Seitaridis was an exciting fullback who had already signed for the Champions of Europe and who eventually preferred to go to parties instead of training -thats what harmed his career, not the transfer to Porto as some have suggested. Charisteas was a workhorse who could have a better career by playing in a mid table English team instead of trying to play in a possession team like Ajax, but that year he was the main striker of Werder, the German Champions.
The team was full of other solid players too (like Stelios, Karagounis -who played at Inter, Benfica and Fulham, Basinas etc) with some of them playing since their youth together.
However, there was not a big star, but since then we have had Atletico Madrid (the first year), Iceland, Leicester etc showing us that balance can play a bigger role than having for example a Galactico squad.
Greece 2004 was also the exact opposite of the 1987 EuroBasket team that won the tournament against USSR. In 2004 everything was about balance, while in 1987 it was a huge star who was/is considered as one of the best, if not the best, European basketball players, surrounded by almost amateurs.
 
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I'm possibly biased as I'm from Denmark, but allow me to chip in with my 5 cents around Denmark.

Some of the arguments in here is the 8 vs 16 teams, and that Denmark possibly was the 9th best team:
Yes, possibly - but they'd been on holiday, so their current rank should probably not be that of no 9 in Europe when entering the tournament.

The road to the final, and the level of the opponents:

Denmark's road to the final:
Group:

England (Fielded a bit of a dire team, compared to later teams)
France (A very good team, with Jean Pierre Papin being one of the most highly rated strikers at the time (28 years old in his prime) sided by Cantona, and some other solid players like Blanc, Petit, Deschamps)
Sweden (They went on to become 3rd place in 1994 world cup, so arguably a good team too with Brolin, Andersson and others)

Semi-final: Holland


That is just a supreme team to beat. Van Basten was also FIFA World player of the year in 1992.

Final: Germany


A great team with a Riedle and Klinsmann in front. Riedle went on to score the two decisive goals for Dortmund against Juventus in the Champions League final in 97 and Sammer, Häßler, Effenberg and Kohler was all very good players.

The better team?
Better team? Stars in the team? Possibly Denmark. But there were not many, and it has to be emphasized that team-wise, it was a total different team from the 80s with stars like Elkjær, Morten Olsen and Michael Laudrup. Now the great players were Schmeichel, Brian Laudrup and Flemming Povlsen. This was the team, and not many can honestly say they know more than Brian Laudrup and Peter Schmeichel. Maybe a couple of old-timer United fans remember John Sivebæk, but most of the team was hard-workers. John Jensen was a joke at Arsenal, and was awarded worst player ever signed if I remember correctly. (Scored in the final somehow)



A forgotten player he is Flemming Povlsen, who was a great asset to Dortmund in the 90s before he got injured. Brian Laudrup and Povlsen became the creators in the danish side, but looking at the players beside them they we're basically just really hard workers, probably much like the greek side.

I can't speak for Greece as I don't know them thoroughly, so possibly a greek poster should shed light on that.

The better manager / tactical approach?
Otto Rehagel had a very clear tactical defensive approach, but you can't possibly say the manager in Denmark worked to the team's advantage. Richard Møller Nielsen was simply a weirdo, and started off by having immense talent like Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup, Jan Mølby, Elkjær (who dragged Verona to a Scudetto over Juventus) in the 80s.

The danish 80's team had great succes and wowed a lot of people by playing all out attacking football with Elkjær and Laudrup, but suddenly "Ricardo" decided that Michael Laudrup, the godgiven creator of this world, should be chasing balls in a defensively minded side on left wing-back. He was very rigid, and very not-creative, and often set up defensively even against terrible teams, pulling out the creativity of the team.
So he clashed with the Laudrup brothers, which saw Michael (And Brian) leave the team as his talent was simply wasted. I see a comment in here that Michael Laudrup was on holiday due to laziness, but I simply think it was because he had lost all faith in Ricardo's style of football. Rightly so, no one believed in him.

Almost no-one in the squad really wanted to play under Ricardo. As the tournament went on, he sort of just stepped into the background as players played their own way, and the assistent manager helped out more. It was a situation, where Brian Laudrup and Flemming Poulsen decided to be more creative, which they'd not have been if Ricardo had his old way. So as the tournament went on, especially against Netherlands, Denmark became more free-flowing again, allowed players to take chances instead of fitting in for the opponent and going defensively like Ricardo wanted. The total sum of this was some very hard fought games, with nice sparks of creativity.

Summary:
It's hard for me to judge, as I'm biased, and Greece beat some very great teams and more of them. Greece beat France with Zidane, Henry. Portugal with Figo, Ronaldo, and Czech Republic with Nedved (injured), Barosz. Greece had a more defined tactical approach, which was tough for any team to break down, as they worked so well as a unit.

On the other hand Denmark was completely chaotic with a terrible manager and players in bad shape after holidays, so that's a way worse starting point, but they also defeated teams with the best players in their peak: Sweden who became 3rd in 1994 World Cup, A fantastic Netherlands team with Bergkamp and peak Van Basten. And of course Germany with Effenberg, Klinsmann, a country who's just always a winner in finals. It's a bit unfair towards Denmark with a measurement of 8 vs 16 teams imo, as they could just as well have beaten more teams had they had more games. They did however compete against every single of the best teams in that tournament and beat them, so it's a toss up for me. Both were fantastic achievements. Personally (and that's trying to take the being danish part out of the equation) I think Denmark was more enjoyable and entertaining to watch. The Netherland's semi-final was complete gung-ho, and possibly had the entertainment of all Greece's games combined. Huge achievement by such a Greece-squad though. Everyone's recent memory is possibly always the one that is the brightest and best remembered, so they'll possibly pick Greece, but I think it's very close.
 
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Ironic thing is Portugal pretty much adopted the template for their euro 2016 win but little is said because they had well known players in all areas.

Their defence was a total brickwall in the games v Croatia, Wales and France and of course with Ronaldo upfront he could also score from a cross like Charisteas did a few times in 2004.

Greece very nearly went out in the group stages, did the hard work of getting 4 points off Spain-Portugal but then messed up their last game and lost 3-1 to already out Russia. If Spain and Portugal had just played out a draw Greece would've been out.
 

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Still a bit bitter about Denmark in '92. Was robbed from seeing that incredible Yugoslavia team come together in an international tournament. Could have won '92 and '94 WC, respectively.
 

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Both played dire football throughout. I remember reading the excellent book Danish Dynamite and apparently many football fans in Denmark hold the 86 team in much higher regard for the football they played.
Seems to be a thing of the mid 80s. I think most people would be surprised that in Brazil, despite having 5 World Cup winning squads, many people consider the 86 squad the best Brazilian team of all time.
 

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Denmark barely got on their group didn't they.