Only in Group B of Euro 2012 could a team that's ranked ninth in the world and has more Euro titles than Portugal and England combined (one) be considered a forgotten underdog, but that's the position Denmark found themselves in before their opening match against the mighty Netherlands. And after numerous blown chances from Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and many others, the only man to score was Denmark's 29-year-old winger Michael Krohn-Dehli, giving his side an unexpected 1-0 win.
The multitude of bowel disorder and delicatessen jokes that Krohn-Dehli has already been subjected to have made it even easier to remember his name, but the quality on the pitch that he showed against the Dutch was no fluke. Having just turned 29 on June 6, Krohn-Dehli is not a player at the beginning of his career looking to fulfill potential like teammates Christian Eriksen and Nicklas Bendtner, but one playing for a last chance at a move to a bigger club in one of the countries he's currently trying to beat (so far with success). Plus, he looks like an amalgamation of Bond villains...
After coming up in Ajax's youth academy, Krohn-Dehli failed to catch on in Holland before moving back to Danish club Brondby in 2008, where he's experienced a bit of a career renaissance. Though he was first capped by the national team in 2006, Krohn-Dehli's skill and speed on the wing has only become a more integral part of Denmark's success in recent years. He scored twice in Euro 12 qualifying (including one against group rivals Portugal) and his continued success will be vital to whether Denmark can defy predictions and advance to the knockout rounds. So in the interest of knowing him a little better, here are a few tidbits of information I just made up about him:
-He was the only member of the Ajax youth team to not get kicked in the head by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2003.
-His favorite color is clear.
-He can make it up to six minutes without wanting to slap Nicklas Bendtner in the Adam's apple.
-He was named after soft-rock icon Michael Bolton and actor Michael Fassbender, who was only six years old at the time and not yet famous.
-He once ate 10 pounds of imitation crab meat in four or five days.
-Has an uncle with a lazy eye.
Previous name to remember: Alan Dzagoev