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Delaney: Denmark’s expectations are very high

  • Exclusive interview with Denmark’s Thomas Delaney

  • He stocks his recollections of France 1998

  • Denmark meet France, Australia and Peru in Russia

On 12 June 1998, Denmark’s golden technology – together with Peter Schmeichel and the Laudrup brothers Michael and Brian – confronted Saudi Arabia within the team degree of the FIFA World Cup™ in France. The Scandinavians received the fit 1-Zero in entrance of a crowd of 38,100 spectators on the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.

Among the ones within the stadium that day was once seven-year-old Thomas Delaney, who watched his idols up shut for the primary time along his father and grandparents. Fast-forward 20 years and Delaney is now following within the footsteps of his heroes, and is raring to make an affect at Russia 2018 in a couple of months.

“Back then I obviously never thought that I’d play in a World Cup one day,” the 26-year-old advised FIFA.com with a grin. “I collected the World Cup stickers and also got an official match ball. It was amazing. It’s one of my best memories – the atmosphere around the stadium and the city. It’s not only the games that make a World Cup so special; it’s mainly the atmosphere in the whole country. As a player you don’t pick up on most of that though.”

Delaney truth record

  • Four-time Danish champion, three-time Danish Cup winner
  • 21 world caps
  • Scored all 4 world targets to this point in September 2017: a hat-trick in a Four-1 win over Armenia and one in a Four-Zero victory over Poland

Denmark had been drawn in opposition to France, Australia and Peru in Group C on the upcoming finals. They are aiming to achieve the remaining 16 on the very least, however preferably the Danes need to get to the quarter-finals. That would equivalent their best possible end in their 4 event appearances to this point, accomplished at France 1998.

“We’re very optimistic about the group stage,” Delaney stated. “If you’re not in pot 1 then you’re inevitably going to face a world-class team. Second place in the group has to be our aim. But obviously we’ve also got a chance against France. I don’t just want to play three games and then have to pack my bags and go home. We’re going there with our feet firmly on the ground because we’re a small country, but expectations are obviously high.”

The midfielder had spent his complete soccer occupation within the Danish capital prior to leaving Copenhagen to enroll in Bundesliga facet Werder Bremen in January 2017. It was once a transfer that intended he swapped competing for championships and titles for fighting for each level and warding off relegation.

“It was the right decision but it has been harder than I expected,” Delaney stated. “I have stepped forward and evolved. In Copenhagen we would have liked to win each recreation. I needed to exchange my mentality as a result of in Bremen you must be happy with some extent on occasion, or take care of dropping various video games in a row from time to time.

“I’d just established myself in the national team shortly before I signed for Werder,” Delaney persevered. “We’ve got a lot of good midfielders in the national team and they all play in the best leagues in Europe. I wanted to establish myself abroad because that’s something the national team coaches are mindful of.”

He admits that this summer time’s World Cup is a continuing presence at the back of his thoughts, “but you need to put that to one side because anything can still happen”. For now, he’s specializing in warding off relegation with Bremen prior to turning his consideration to Russia 2018.

Delaney’s female friend, mom and several other pals will shuttle with him to the event – and in all probability there may also be any other younger boy whose eyes will illuminate as he recollects his first World Cup revel in in 20 years’ time.

Delaney on…
His world debut
“I made my debut as a left-back. It was my first time playing in that position. At the time things weren’t going so well for us at Copenhagen. It wasn’t an easy period but it was still a great feeling.”

Superstar Christian Eriksen

“He’s a great footballer, not your typical No10. He runs a great deal and covers a lot of ground both in attack and defence. He can also play as a striker. A lot of people don’t see that. He’s got an outstanding right foot and gives a lot of assists.”

The Five-1 win within the World Cup play-off go back leg in opposition to Republic of Ireland in Dublin
“It was a rollercoaster ride. We went 1-0 down but then came back the way we did. It was a strange feeling after around the 60th minute because we knew that nothing could really go wrong anymore. We looked at each other and knew that the World Cup ticket was ours.”

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