England fans believe football’s coming home ahead of the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday but Leicester’s Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel is sceptical
Kasper Schmeichel taunted England over the “it’s coming home” slogan by saying: “Has it ever been home?”
While Denmark won the Euros in 1992, after being called up as last minute replacements, England have never triumphed in the tournament.
The World Cup win of 1966 remains England’s only major tournament win, something Schmeichel was quick to point out when asked what it would mean to Denmark to stop football coming home.
“Has it ever been home?” said a smiling Schmeichel. “I mean, have they ever won it? 1966? Was that not the World Cup?
“To be honest, I haven’t given any thought to what it would mean to stop England, more than what it would do for Denmark.
“I’ve focused very little on the England national team.
“It’s what it would do for our country back home, the joy it would bring to a country of only five-and-a-half million people, to be able to do that or simply compete with the nations we’re competing with.
“So I’ve not really given a lot of thought to England’s feelings on this.”
Although England start as favourites tonight, Schmeichel said Gareth Southgate’s players will know Denmark are going to make it hard for them and respect the fact they are here on merit.
“I think they respect us, they know they’re facing a team that’s very hard to beat and they know we’re going to fight to the end,” said Schmeichel.
“I’m sure Gareth will make sure they don’t focus on anything else. When you have a team with so many world stars as England have, the expectations are always going to be high.
“They’re a nation who loves football, they want success, but I can’t imagine such a team is going to be affected by what the country expects from them.
“I think they’re just as professional as we are and are only focused on the game.”
Schmeichel said the compassion and support Denmark had received back home, after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their opening game, had been a key factor in their march to the semi-finals.
“This group has always been special, we’ve said it for many years,” said Schmeichel. “It just came to light in a very dramatic way.
“It’s not because it’s brought us closer together, but it’s shown the world what we have.
“We experienced something, as a country, quite shocking and that’s definitely brought Denmark closer together.
“The support we’ve seen back home is like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my career, in my life, and I’m unlikely to even see anything like it again.
“But it shows what football can do, it shows the reason why we play team sports, because when one of your team-mates is in need, your mates are there for you.
“I think that’s why we’ve been shown so much love from everywhere, but particularly at home.”