15/10/2013 09:00, Report by Tim Oscroft

#2 - Great Dane delight

"It's dramatic, it's delightful, it's Denmark!" We recall why TV commentator John Motson waxed lyrical over Denmark's Euro '92 victory, with United's keeper to the fore...

Player: Peter Schmeichel
Event: European Championship, Sweden, 1992

Peter Schmeichel had a big hand in one of the unlikeliest success stories international football will ever see at the 1992 European Championship in Sweden.

United's keeper - then with the club for just under a year - was called into action when Denmark took the place of war-torn Yugoslavia just a week before the start of the tournament.

With so little time to prepare the Danes were expected to make little progress, and after a dire goalless draw with England and a defeat to the hosts in the first two games those expectations looked to be coming to fruition.

But a 2-1 win over France in the final group fixture nudged a talented Danish side through to the semis (it was an eight-team competition back then). The Denmark team in the mid-1980s had won many admirers with their attacking brand of football, and the core of that side, including ex-Red John Sivebaek, now had another shot at glory.

An enthralling semi-final against reigning champions Holland went to penalties and Schmeichel was the hero for Denmark, dropping to his left to block the great Marco van Basten's spot kick. The Danes converted all their penalties to reach the final, where they swept World Cup-holders Germany aside 2-0 to claim Europe's crown.

Schmeichel's performances throughout Euro '92 added to his reputation as the best goalkeeper in the world, something United fans would agree with throughout his Old Trafford reign.


Premier League