Who is … Allan Simonsen?

He is one of this country’s most celebrated football players who this year has emerged as a highly controversial dancer.

What does that mean?
The TV2 dancing show ‘Vild med dans’ (‘Strictly Come Dancing’) has started  and you may have already noticed that one contestant has made it way further than his skewed dancing shoes should have ever taken him.

Who is that?
That would be Allan Simonsen, a true football legend who scored 20 goals in 55 games for the national team and played for both Borussia Mönchengladbach and Barcelona in the 1970s and 80s. In addition, and we hope you’re sitting down for this, Simonsen is the only footballer ever to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners’ Cup finals and the only Scandinavian player to be named European Footballer of the Year. an honour he picked up in 1977.

Now that we have your attention, go and watch the 60-year-old former Charlton Athletic player (err yes, he played for them too) do his Simonsen Samba in ‘Vild med Dans’. It should quickly be clear that he has no more rhythm than a brick.

Then why is he still on the show?
Friday after Friday he steps into his spangled suit and flails his arms around like an inflatable tube man. And the judges laugh and award him historically low points. But then the entire football-loving nation votes for him anyway and he ends up beating the other contestants.

What has the reaction been?
These past weeks the media have raged that if Simonsen ends up winning, he will forever ruin the show because the winner will be the most popular guy and not the best dancer.

Why do people care?
They love football. More than dancing. And maybe some of them think the show, now in its tenth series and seriously scraping the barrel for celebrities, has lived long past its shelf-life. Talking of shelves, if Simonsen wins, he’ll be the first ever contestant to place a golden dancing shoe next to a Ballon d’Or.