Here are my favourite underdog stories from football since I have been watching the game. See if you agree with my choices, and if I have forgotten any classic moments when David gave Goliath a good hiding?
5 Denmark 1992
Denmark shocked the football world when they won the European Championships in 1992. The finals were made up of eight teams and Denmark had actually failed to qualify for the tournament. Yugoslavia had beaten them to the top spot in their qualifying group but they were disqualified due to the Civil wars in their country. So Denmark were sent to the finals as the eighth team.
They started the group stage poorly with a goalless draw with England and a defeat to neighbours, and tournament hosts, Sweden. They needed to beat France in their final group game to get into the semi finals, which they did winning the game 2-1.
Denmark were massive underdogs for the semi final against reigning European champions Holland. It was a daunting task up against a team including world stars Dennis Bergkamp, Frank Riijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Ronald Koeman. The Danes were unfazed though and took the lead twice in the game only to be pegged back on both occasions. The game went to a penalty shootout and Peter Schmeichel stopped Van Basten finding the net to send Denmark into the final.
The final was against the newly reunified Germany. Surprisingly, despite being massive underdogs, Denmark won the game 2-0 thanks to some great saves from Peter Schmeichel.
Denmark won the European Championships when they weren’t even supposed to be there. They were a team of solid professionals with a fantastic team spirit forged by the fact that one of their best players Michael Laudrup, refused to play for the national team after a disagreement with the coach. Brian Laudrup, Michael’s brother, put his differences with the coach aside to star for the Danes at the tournament.