‘The Danish Catch’: Goalkeepers from Denmark catch ball differently 

  • Rob Swan
Goalkeepers from Denmark catch the ball differently due to ‘The Danish Catch’

Denmark has produced a number of top quality goalkeepers over the years.

Peter Schmeichel is one of the greatest ‘keepers of all time, starring for Manchester United in the 1990s.

His son, Leicester City star Kasper, also turned out to be decent between the sticks.

Other goalkeepers to hail from the European nation including Jonas Lossl, Thomas Sorenson and Anders Lindegaard.

You may have noticed that Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark’s vice-captain and Leicester’s first-choice goalkeeper for the past decade, has a rather unusual style when it comes to catching the ball.

Kasper Schmeichel
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – JUNE 21: Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark celebrates after victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group B match between Russia and Denmark at Parken Stadium on June 21, 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

But if you’ve never noticed it before, that’s understandable. It’s quite hard to spot in real time.

However, footage posted to Twitter in 2020 by Pro GK Academy (@progkacademy) from a Denmark training session shows the technique in slow motion.

As the ball travels towards him, Schmeichel sets himself and raises his hands towards his chin, tucking his elbows in before allowing the ball to hit his chest.

The placement of his arms creates a barrier and the ball subsequently comes to a standstill.

Watch the video here:

It looks a tad awkward and unorthodox, doesn’t it?

But it clearly works well for those who’ve mastered the technique and is considered a safer way to catch the ball, minimising the risk of dropping it.

Greg Hartley, a former Manchester City youth goalkeeper, confirmed that Schmeichel has been using this unusual catching technique for years.

While Steve Hale, a coach with a UEFA Goalkeeper A License, revealed that Schmeichel’s Leicester teammate Daniel Iversen, who has represented Denmark at every youth level between Under-16 and Under-21, also utilises ‘The Danish Catch’.

Guide: How to master ‘The Danish Catch’

Another Danish goalkeeper (DanishGK on YouTube) provided a two-minute guide on how to master the catching technique.

Let’s check out some of the reaction in the comments:

Danes clearly swear by it and perhaps it won’t be too much longer before goalkeeper coaches in other countries are instructing youngsters to use ‘The Danish Catch’ during matches and training sessions.

It might even become the norm one day.

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