A pay dispute between the Danish Football Association and the nation’s first and second tier players meant Denmark’s team that lost 3-0 to Slovakia contained some players who never thought they would get an international cap.
It seems unlikely that the stand-off will be over in time for Denmark’s next game against Wales, so this could be the chance every Sunday League plodder has been waiting for to finally get the call-up on the big stage.
Paddy Power provides some invaluable advice for infiltrating the Danish ranks.
Get your passport
This part could be tricky. To do things properly you may need to marry a Dane and that could take some time, probably more than the 48 hours you have.
If a whirlwind romance isn’t on the cards, you may have to get yourself a fake passport and hope for the best.
To make your Danish name, simply add -sen to the end of your surname, or just go with ‘Jensen’, it’s the most common Danish name and coach John Jensen might think you’re his cousin.
To fit in with the lads you’ll need to speak the language.
Learning a language is very time consuming process. You can work at fluency in a foreign tongue for years and never truly sound native.
Fortunately, football doesn’t require the largest vocabulary. If you can identify yourself as a utility man, find out the Danish for ‘the mixer’ and express your desire to see the ball sent into the aforementioned mixer then you’re pretty much good to go.
And after all, if Steve McClaren became fluent in Dutch in a day, surely you can crack Danish.
Weird things in football – no. 131
Steve McClaren's Dutch accent
— The Football Pools (@footballpools) January 10, 2017
Create a vaguely plausible football CV
Okay, so you’re not going to get away with saying you’ve played for a Premier League team, but you can cobble together a creditable resume of top tier Moldovan teams, Ecuadorian also-rans and now-defunct Italian clubs and be pretty sure that nobody’s going to go to the hassle of giving them a call.
Make sure you write yourself a trusty Wikipedia article and add some colour to it, invent a goal that started a riot in a Central American derby, a transfer to a League One club that fell through at the 11th hour and top it off with a wacky nickname. Why not invent a chant for yourself? After all don’t we all secretly want to do that anyway?
Alternatively, just say you’re a futsal international. In fact, you could be a five-time futsal Ballon d’Or winner, a legend of the tiny court and heavy ball and nobody would have a clue. You’ll get away with it until you have to control a ball.
Belt out the anthem
The final hurdle is the anthem. It did for Vinnie Jones with Wales, so before you focus on your hill sprints, make sure you can bang out ‘Der er et yndigt land’ with your hand on your heart.
You’re probably going to need to know a few actual facts about Denmark but that’s simply a matter of watching the Carlsberg ads with Mads Mikkelsen, and if you start to suspect your teammates are on to you, Danish dramas have taught us that Danes love a good murder or two.
We all know that Denmark is the happiest nation on earth, so don’t forget to play with a smile on your face, even when you’re losing 8-0 to Wales and your teammates are starting to suspect you may not be the travelled superstar you claimed to be after you’ve been nutmegged for the 20th time and attempted to take a selfie with Gareth Bale.
See you in Aarhus!