Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Danes the winners in FIFA numbers game


By Phil O’Connor

The calculation of the FIFA rankings may be a mystery to many soccer fans, but the football associations are well aware of the value of a high ranking.

Having recently beaten Cyprus and Portugal to win their group and qualify for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, Denmark rose to joint 10th with Argentina.

Jim Stjerne Hansen, general secretary of the Danish Football Association (DBU), told the Reuters Sports Blog that it brings advantages, both on and off the field.

Having risen from 17th to 10th, the Danish FA are looking forward to attracting a better class of opposition for friendlies. “People tend to have an eye on that when it comes to friendlies, the best teams will always look to play teams in at least the top 20,” he said.

Solbakken’s Copenhagen may be undone by own strength



 It was as if Stale Solbakken’s winning machine had been taken by the moment.

Crowned champions minutes before kickoff by Odense’s failure to beat Nordsjaelland, they quickly fell behind to lowly Lyngby.

Classy Wilshere looked like a Barcelona No 4 in the making


SOCCER-FRIENDLY/Scrunching up the eyes a bit, and using just a touch of imagination, watching Jack Wilshere on the ball for England against Denmark was almost like watching Xavi. It was quite a shock, in fact, to see a player in an England shirt pause, look up and think before picking out a team mate with a precise, considered pass.

Comparing Wilshere to the peerless Barcelona midfielder Xavi will be stretching it for some. I was pretty surprised, I must say, to read match reports on Thursday suggesting Wilshere had been a bit disappointing.