Five-time I-League champions Dempo owner acquired stakes in Danish club FC Midtjylland in 2011…
It has been a fairytale journey for the Denmark national team in the ongoing Euro 2020 as they have reached the semifinal of the competition for the first time since their title-winning campaign in 1992.
A journey that started with a tragedy with star midfielder Christian Eriksen suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in their tournament opener against Finland is now slowly turning into a dream run for the Danish side.
After losing their first two matches against Finland and Belgium, the Danes are now on a three-match winning streak on their way to the semifinal where they have scored 10 goals.
As Denmark are on a roll in the Euro 2020, did you know that two Danish internationals from the current squad have an unusual link to Indian football?
Owner of five-time I-League champions Dempo SC, Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, had acquired a 34 per cent stake in Denmark Superliga club FC Midtjylland back in 2011. Two current national team players Joachim Andersen and Jonas Lossl were part of the club when the deal happened between the Danish side and Mr. Dempo.
What was the deal between Shrinivas Dempo and FC Midtjylland?
In a historic deal back in 2011, Shrinivas Dempo, the owner of Dempo SC, had entered into a partnership with Danish top division side FC Midtjylland which saw the owner of the Goan club acquiring a 34 per cent stake in the Danish side. The deal saw Mr. Dempo investing money in Midtjylland.
After the agreement was signed between the two clubs, then Dempo manager Armando Colaco along with youth team coach Mathew D’Costa and a club official had visited Denmark to get a first-hand experience of how a top-tier European club functioned and studying the model of the club, from the youth system to senior team.
“It will enable us to develop aspiring youngsters to compete at the highest level in Indian football, and for some Indian players to reach where they can play regularly for FD Midtjylland, and perhaps even use FC Midtjylland as a gateway to larger clubs and leagues in Europe,” Shrinivas said back then.
Which two Danish internationals were a part of Midtjylland when Dempo were the co-owners?
Defender Joachim Andersen and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl are the two players from the current Denmark national team who were a part of the FC Midtjylland setup when Dempo co-owned the club. While Andersen was part of the youth setup from 2011 to 2013, Lossl played for the senior team from 2008 to 2014.
In the ongoing Euro 2020 campaign, Andersen has appeared in two matches so far for the national side. After sitting on the bench during the group stage, the Fulham FC central defender featured in the starting lineup in the round of 16 and quarterfinal clash against Wales and Czech Republic respectively.
Lossl, on the other hand, is yet to start a single match in ongoing Euro as Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel is the team’s first-choice custodian.
Martin Braithwaite and Simon Kjaer were also part of Midtjylland but during their stint, Shrinivas Dempo did not have any stakes in the club.