Peter Schmeichel: How Man Utd legend helped Denmark win Euro 1992 before rule change

Denmark beat Germany 2-0 in the final of Euro 1992

Happy 58th birthday, Peter Schmeichel.

The man aptly nicknamed ‘The Great Dane’ is one of the finest goalkeepers in history, a man who made the ridiculous look easy.

Schmeichel was an absolute beast between the posts for Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson and also thrived on the international stage with Denmark.

The no-nonsense goalkeeper was a key member of Richard Moller-Nielsen’s side that defied all the odds and won the European Championships in 1992.

Denmark only qualified for the tournament by default after Yugoslavia were disqualified, but they shocked the world to lift the trophy in Gothenburg.

In their group, the Danes drew with England, lost to host nation Sweden and beat France 2-1 to setup a semi-final date with Holland.

Denmark players celebrate

They saw off the Dutch on penalties, before defeating Germany 2-0 in the final and getting their hands on the coveted Henri Delaunay Trophy.

It is one of international football’s great underdog stories, although Schmeichel and his teammates certainly exploited the rules in place at the time to secure the most unexpected of triumphs.

Throughout the final against Germany, Denmark players cynically wasted time by constantly passing the ball to their goalkeeper, who was allowed to pick it up.

Schmeichel with the trophy

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Check out the footage here…

Video: Schmeichel & Denmark exploit back-pass rule to win Euro 1992

Mental, right?

That was the last competitive match before the back-pass law was introduced and that change has made the sport a far better spectacle as a whole.

But while Denmark and Schmeichel’s actions versus Germany in Gothenburg were horrendous to watch, you have to applaud them for making the most of what they legally could do in order to achieve victory.

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Who cares about beautiful, free-flowing football if it doesn’t result in a trophy and a night of partying, eh?

After helping Denmark win Euro 1992, Schmeichel continued playing international football up until 2001, earning 129 caps in total and even grabbing a goal against Belgium during a friendly back in 2000.

He called time on his glittering playing career as a whole in 2003 after a season with Manchester City.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Wikipedia Page No.1

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

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