The State of Danish Club Football
May 21, 2019
Most Championships: FC Kobenhavn, 12
Last 5 Winners: FC Midtjylland (17/18, 14/15), FC Kobenhavn (18/19, 16/17, 15/16)
UEFA Ranking: 16th
Highest Ranked Club: FC Kobenhavn, 48th
Interview with Danish football expert Claus Røndbjerg
Since the Europa League was rebranded, only one Danish side have made the last 16 and one Champions League last 16. How have the last few years been viewed by Danish football fans in that regard?
In Denmark it used to be the case that it was considered a success if you just qualify. That view stands for both the UCL and UEL. Anything else is just a bonus.
Lately though that view changed due to better Danish players getting playing time in bigger leagues/clubs in Europe, while the Denmark International side (both U17/21 and A team) have risen through the FIFA rankings.
So especially in the UEFA Europa League it was seen as bit of a failure that Kobenhavn didn’t progress until the next round from Group C. The clubs this year were there for the taking.
Are Kobenhavn the outlier in a weak league or are there other sides you expect to do equally as well in Europe over the next few years?
You could say that they are the big teams with many smaller teams, but that actually might change and there are hopes for better Danish teams in the future.
Two teams spring to mind regarding that are: FC Midtjylland (main competitor for FCK) and Brøndby (long, historical team who could make a break for it in Europe).
Is getting to the last sixteen of the Europa League seen as a remarkable achievement back in Denmark or do fans hope for more?
It’s still a remarkable achievement seen in Denmark, but that might change in the future should the club(s) keep their major talents/stars, and not sell them to bigger leagues.
Do most of the country get behind the Danish side playing in Europe or is there a lot of tribalism still apparent?
The majority still back the Danish teams in Europe. Whether that’ll be Brøndby or Copenhagen. But the clubs’ fans don’t. And it’s pretty apparent on social media.
How do you think the Europa League 2 will affect Danish EL performances and what has been the reaction to the formation of the competition in Denmark?
Quite simple: We don’t want Europe be divided in A-teams and B-teams. We want our players to compete among the best of them, so that the national side also gets the benefit. And that’s speaking for everyone in Denmark.
What would you like to see UEFA do to level the playing field more for small European sides?
I think that the magic of the UEFA Europa League/UCL is that major teams will play minor ones, and then (just sometimes) a miracle happen, and David beats Goliath.
That’s for me the magic of the Cup.
Find all your Champions League betting odds here
Author: Tom Mortimer
Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.