Ahead of the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, bwfc.co.uk profile a former Wanderer who reached the same stage of the competition back in 2004
With the first Euro 2016 quarter-final taking place today, bwfc.co.uk profile a former Wanderer who reached the same stage of the competition with Denmark in his only appearance at the European Championships back in 2004.
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47 CAPS 8 GOALS
European Championships: 1 (EURO 2004)
Best Stage Reached: QUARTER-FINALS
Tournament Appearances: 3
Tournament Goals: 0
A popular figure during his time at Bolton Wanderers, Claus Jensen represented Denmark at both the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 during a seven-year long international career.
Starting his career with lower-league club Nykobing Falster Alliancen, the midfielder moved to Naestved BK on loan in May 1996, before joining fellow Danish top-flight side Lyngby permanently that summer.
Continuing to impress in Denmark, the then-21 year old caught the eye of numerous scouts and was signed by Bolton Wanderers in July 1998.
A virtual ever-present during his two years at the Reebok Stadium as the Whites suffered play-off heartache, Jensen made 54 appearances and scored four goals during his first season with the Whites as they were denied promotion after losing 2-0 in the Play-Off Final at Wembley to Watford.
Again reaching the play-offs the following year, Bolton suffered a controversial 7-5 aggregate defeat to Ipswich Town in the semi-finals, with the midfielder making a further 55 appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals.
His performances for the Trotters saw him handed his international debut in March 2000, coming on as a late substitute in a friendly defeat to Portugal.
However, after missing out on a place in Denmark’s squad for Euro 2000, Jensen signed for newly promoted Premiership side Charlton Athletic later that summer.
Handed his first international start against the Faroe Islands in August 2000, he capped off a memorable week just days later as he was handed his maiden top-flight appearance as Charlton opened the season with a 4-0 home victory over Manchester City.
A first Denmark goal quickly followed in a World Cup qualifying victory over Malta in March 2001, with Jensen helping the Danes qualify automatically for the tournament in Japan and South Korea later that year.
An ever-present for Charlton during his first season in the top-flight, his Addicks appearances were more sporadic during the 2001/02 season, though he still did enough to be included in Denmark’s squad for the 2002 World Cup.
The midfielder was unused throughout the group stages as the Danes qualified for the knockout stages with an unbeaten record, clinching victories over Uruguay and holders France and a draw with Senegal.
Drawn against England in the second round, Jensen was handed his first appearance of the tournament as a second half substitute, coming on in place of future Wanderer Stig Tofting.
However, having seen Sven Goran Eriksson’s side race into a 3-0 lead before the break courtesy of goals from Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey, he was unable to inspire an unlikely comeback as Denmark exited the competition.
A regular starter for Denmark following the tournament, one of Jensen’s finest moments for his country came in February 2003 when he netted a hat-trick in a 4-1 friendly victory over Egypt.
On the scoresheet again a few months later in a Euro 2004 qualifying win against Luxembourg, the midfielder went on to help Denmark qualify automatically for the tournament in Portugal.
Brought on as a substitute as the Danes opened the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Italy and 2-0 victory over Bulgaria, he was unused as they qualified for the knockout stages after drawing 2-2 with Sweden in their last group match.
Jensen was awarded his first start of the tournament in their quarter-final meeting with Czech Republic, but it would prove to be a day to forget for both him and Denmark as they were knocked out of the competition after suffering an emphatic 3-0 defeat.
On the move across the capital to Fulham following the tournament, Jensen featured infrequently because of injury for both the Cottagers and his nation as the Danes narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.
However, despite never making more than 15 appearances in a season during his three years with Fulham, he did continue to be selected by his nation when available, with his final Denmark cap coming as a substitute in a 4-0 Euro 2008 qualifying victory over Liechtenstein in October 2006.
Hanging up his boots in August 2007 after conceding defeat to his injury battles, Jensen now works for the Danish TV Channel 6’eren as a commentator on the Premier League.
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