Heading into Euro 2020, few individuals gave Mikkel Damsgaard a lot hope of being afforded something greater than transient cameo roles from the bench.
Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand is a person who appears to favour expertise over wildcard youth choices, although the terrible incident involving talisman Christian Eriksen of their opening sport towards Finland noticed the Danish boss hand Damsgaard his likelihood.
The 21-year-old’s first outing at a serious event got here towards the quantity one-ranked workforce on the earth Belgium on matchday two (no strain) and also you’d have forgiven him for taking somewhat time to search out his ft as he settled into the event – he wanted no such luxurious,
Damsgaard was the brightest of the Denmark frontline all through the competition, with a short second of magic as he skipped away from two Belgium defenders earlier than curling a shot inches vast of Thibaut Courtois’ far submit virtually sufficient to grab his aspect a degree.
If his inclusion towards Roberto Martinez’s aspect was seen as a big gamble by Hjulmand, his Euro 2020 debut was sufficient to see him turn out to be an everyday for the rest of the marketing campaign.
Matchday three represented a watershed second for the ahead as he etched his title into footballing historical past by turning into the primary participant born after the 12 months 2000 to attain at a European Championship finals.
Damsgaard’s end towards Russia typified every part we have come to count on from him as he collected the ball on the half-turn earlier than making a yard of house to curve a luxurious effort into Matvei Safonov’s high nook.
The primary-half strike set the tone for his aspect in a sport they could not afford to lose, and setting the tone for the remainder of his teammates was one thing Damsgaard did all event – from high-octane urgent to particular person items of brilliance on the ball, he spent the entire of Euro 2020 main the best way for his senior teammates to comply with.
Because the Danes headed into the knockout levels of Euro 2020, not have been they turning to the likes of Barcelona ahead Martin Braithwaite for inspiration, as an alternative it was their wonderkid who could be pulling the strings.
The Sampdoria man proved too scorching to deal with for Wales as Denmark brushed apart the problem of Rob Web page’s gallant aspect. Damsgaard accomplished essentially the most take ons, essentially the most probabilities and grabbed himself an help within the opening 45 minutes as Denmark hit the entrance, earlier than Hjulmand withdrew his man and wrapped him up in cotton wool with the sport successfully over.
The 21-year-old’s confidence continued to develop and develop because the event reached the latter levels, and following a stellar exhibiting in his aspect’s quarter-final conquer the Czech Republic,
Damsgaard could be confronted together with his largest problem of all towards England.
As soon as once more he proved to be the livewire within the Danish pack, with the Three Lions’ stable backline merely unable to deal with his motion and vitality.
If his purpose towards Russia was particular then his opener within the semi-final arguably topped it, exhibiting the approach, and maybe extra impressively the boldness, to fireside an excellent free-kick with the instep of his boot previous the flailing Jordan Pickford from all of 25 yards.
Damsgaard was withdrawn halfway by the second-half of Denmark’s semi-final as Hjulmand regarded to shore up the midfield, although having gone 2-1 down it was clear the Danes missed the teenager’s guile and spark across the fringe of the world.
Denmark could not have made it to the ultimate of Euro 2020 however in Mikkel Damsgaard they have themselves an absolute gem who can go on to turn out to be his county’s talisman for years to return.