The 2016 Olympic champions enter the EHF EURO 2018 hoping to improve on their final position at the previous edition in Poland, where they ranked sixth. Considering Denmark contested the trophy match in 2014 and won the title in 2012, missing the semi-finals was a significant disappointment for the team with the biggest EHF EURO medal collection. Along with the title won at the EHF EURO 2012, Denmark claimed the gold medal in 2008, silver at home in 2014, and bronze in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
The Scandinavian side travel to Croatia with new coach Nikolaj Jacobsen, who has only led the team in four official matches – with three wins and one draw in qualification for the EURO 2018.
As the defending Olympic champions and considering their results at major international tournaments over recent years, Denmark are always favourites to win a medal, but they have shown a tendency to be unpredictable.
There has been one major competition since the team celebrated the Olympic title: the World Championship 2017 in January. At France 2017, Denmark were knocked out as early as the round of 16 by Hungary, who had not even made it to the Olympic qualification event – only five months after winning gold in Rio.
Mikkel Hansen is, without doubt, currently one of the world’s best players. The two-time IHF World Handball Player of the Year (2011, 2015) consistently features on All-star Team and top scorer lists in major competitions on both an international and club level.
At the 2016 Olympic Games, where Denmark won their first men’s Olympic handball title, he received the Most Valuable Player award. He was also the MVP of the IHF World Championship 2013 and top scorer of the World Championship 2011. Hansen finished as top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2012, with AG Kobenhavn, and in 2016, with PSG Handball.
He was selected as All-Star left back at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, World Championship 2011 and EHF EURO 2012 and 2014 playing for Denmark. On a club level, Hansen was part of the VELUX EHF Champions League All-star Team in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The captain of the national team is a beacon for Denmark on and off the playing field. Niklas Landin Jacobsen was chosen as All-Star Team goalkeeper at the 2016 Olympic Games, the IHF World Championship 2013, and the EHF EURO 2012 and 2014.
He was also selected as the Best Goalkeeper in the Bundesliga in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and as Danish Player of the Year in 2014 – a collection of individual awards that make him one of the most decorated goalkeepers of his generation.
The 201cm goalkeeper has been playing for German club THW Kiel since 2015, after three years spent at Rhein-Neckar Löwen. Alongside Hansen, Landin is a key force in Denmark’s game and played a significant role in recent achievements such as the Olympic title and the silver medals at the EHF EURO 2014 and World Championship 2013.
Nikolaj Jacobsen was considered one of the world’s best left wings during his time with THW Kiel. After six years in the Bundesliga (1998-2004), he returned to Denmark, where he was on court for Viborg HK for one year before starting as a playing assistant.
He assisted the head coaches at Viborg and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, then moved to Aalborg Håndbold in 2012 to lead the team. Jacobsen guided Aalborg to the Danish title in his first season as head coach, then to second place the next – building a name as a coach to watch in just two years.
When Rhein-Neckar Löwen’s Gudmundur Gudmundsson was appointed Denmark national coach, the German club approached Jacobsen. In his first season in Germany, Jacobsen finished second in the Bundesliga, followed by a gold medal in 2016.
In 2016/17, Jacobsen won his second consecutive Bundesliga title and took charge of the Denmark national team. Prior to the EHF EURO 2018, Jacobsen’s record stands at three wins and a draw in competitive matches.
Past Performance at EHF EURO events