Women’s World Cup 2023 team guides: Denmark
Pernille Harder is back in the tournament for the first time since 2007 and hopes to live up to the reputation she has earned
The Danish team is back in the world’s best company for the first time since 2007. With four appearances at the World Cup, including three in the 1990s, it has been 16 years of heartbreak for the Danes. “We have been so close [to qualifying] every time, but we have never made it,” Katrine Veje told FIFA.com. The World Cup was one of the last things I wanted to accomplish.”
Due to the expansion from 24 to 32 teams, Denmark was seeded first in qualification instead of the second-seed spot, which is typically challenging. Denmark won eight of eight games in a group with Russia (excluded halfway through qualification), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, and Malta, scoring 40 goals and conceding two.
With either a 3-4-3 or a 4-3-3 formation, Lars Sndergaard can utilize his team’s strong ball-playing midfielders – Karen Holmgaard, Sofie Junge Pedersen, Sanne Troelsgaard, Kathrine Kühl and Josefine Hasbo.
Although Denmark likes to keep possession and play this way, they are also not afraid to defend and counterattack. Dangerous crosses from Veje, Nicoline Sørensen, and Sofie Svava on the wings are a great weapon for Denmark, who will be a threat in the penalty area.
Pernille Harder is the focal point. Denmark proved that even without Bayern Munich’s new signing, the team can play against some of the world’s best teams and win. Denmark has achieved impressive successes against Norway, Japan, and especially Sweden. After a 1-0 win over Malmo, Stine Ballisager said, “The victory gives us confidence and that is what we need before the World Cup.” She added, “Sweden are No 3 in the world, and this result shows that we are capable of reaching that level.”
The well-liked Lars Søndergaard will depart after the World Cup. Since December 2017, he has overseen the national team. “It has been an honor and an amazing experience,” he said. As a former coach of Danish clubs AaB, Viborg, and SønderjyskE, as well as several Austrian sides, this was his first time coaching women. Aside from one major difference, he did not see any major differences between coaching a women’s team and a men’s team. According to him, female players ask a lot more questions and want to discuss everything. It is very positive, but I had to get used to it.”
Pernille Harder is not only the biggest name in the Denmark squad, but also one of the stars of the entire tournament. This will be the 30-year-old’s first World Cup. In his letter to Fifa, Sndergaard stated that this tournament deserves players such as Pernille Harder. She has twice topped the Guardian’s list of the 100 best female footballers in the world and is Denmark’s long-serving captain and all-time leading scorer. She is now also participating in the World Cup.
Josefine Hasbo is a student by day and a footballer by night. If you follow US college football, especially Harvard, you know they have a diamond in midfield. Along with Holmgaard and Kühl, Hasbo is destined to be an important part of Denmark’s future. With her untiring runs, she has impressed roligans (Denmark’s fans). Even if she doesn’t start every game, she will have an impact when needed.