Denmark on the brink of a European football disaster

Underdogs FC Midtjylland and Brøndby the last bastion

Denmark’s slippery slide down the European football coefficient rankings looks set to continue as the group stages of this year’s European tournaments could very well end up going ahead without any Danish teams at all.

FC Midtjylland and Brøndby IF were the only remaining Danish teams in the draw for the final Europa League qualifying round on Friday, but because they were both unseeded, they drew hard opponents and will surely be considered underdogs against English side Southampton and Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki respectively.

Last season’s Superliga champions, FCM, have already disappointed this year, ending up in the Europa League qualification round after a loss to Apoel Nicosia from Cyprus in the Champions League penultimate round of qualifying.

Denmark’s European flagship club FC Copenhagen had already been eliminated ahead of the final qualifying rounds for the first time in a decade after sensationally losing 2-3 at home (3-3 on aggregate and out on away goals) to Czech minnows Jablonec in the Europa League penultimate round of qualifying despite winning 1-0 in the Czech Republic two weeks ago.

Randers, Denmark’s final team in the qualifiers this year, were knocked out by Swedish outfit Elfsborg.

READ MORE: Danish football falls behind in UEFA coefficient ranking

Surpassed by Sweden … and soon Norway
Just a few years ago, Denmark stood 12th in the European coefficient standings, with AaB Aalborg and FC Copenhagen making it to the Champions League group stage (and FCK to the last 16) two seasons in a row.

However, Denmark has fallen in the rankings every year since the 2010-11 season due to poor results in European competitions and is now ranked 23rd.

The Danes aren’t even the best Nordic nation any longer and have been surpassed by Sweden thanks to the successes of Malmö FF in recent years.

And now Norway, ranked 25th, is nipping at Denmark’s heels, just a few hundred points behind.