Euro Whites: Stig Tofting profile another former Wanderer and veteran of two European Championships as our summer series continues

With Denmark one of only three former European champions not to qualify for Euro 2016, profile a former Wanderer who appeared for the Danes at two European Championships having made his international debut shortly after their surprise success at Euro 1992.

DENMARK (1993-2002) 

European Championships: 2 (EURO 1996 AND EURO 2000) 
Best Stage Reached: GROUP STAGES 

Tournament Appearances:
Tournament Goals: 0

A member of the Denmark squad that competed at two European Championships and two World Cups, Stig Tofting’s international career began shortly after the Danes’ finest hour. 

Handed his senior international debut six months after Denmark were surprisingly crowned European champions in 1992, the midfielder’s maiden international appearance came in a friendly against USA in January 1993. 

Beginning his career with Danish side Aarhus Gymnastik Forening, Tofting represented Denmark at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games with his impressive form also earning him an eventual maiden international call-up as well as a move to Hamburg. 

However, injury disrupted his time in Germany, leading to loan moves to Odense BK and former club AGF, as well as costing him his place in the Denmark side as they failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. 

Recalled by the national side following a three-year hiatus, Tofting was named in the reigning European champions’ squad as they looked to defend their title in England at Euro 1996. 

Now back permanently with AGF, Tofting’s first taste of international tournament football saw Denmark named in a group alongside Portugal, Croatia and Turkey. 

Watching on from the side-lines as the Danes drew their opening game against Portugal, he was handed his tournament debut in their second match as a 69th minute substitute against Croatia. 

However, it proved to be an experience to forget as they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against the eventual group winners at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium. 

Again an unused substitute in Denmark’s final group game against Turkey, Tofting saw his team-mates clinch an emphatic 3-0 win but still suffer a group stage exit, with him again falling out of favour soon after. 

Briefly signing for Odense in 1997, he returned to Germany with MSV Duisburg later that year and fought back to win another international recall in May 1998, going on to clinch a place in Denmark’s 1998 World Cup squad. 

Still a bit-part player, he made two appearances during the tournament as Denmark were knocked out in the quarter-finals. 

Establishing himself as a Denmark regular following the World Cup, he proved to be a key player as the Danes qualified for Euro 2000 via the play-offs, clinching an 8-0 aggregate win over Israel.

Drawn in a group which saw them face reigning world champions, and future European champions, France, as well as Czech Republic and co-hosts The Netherlands, Tofting started in their opening match as they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against the French. 

A 61st minute substitute in their second match against the Dutch, the Danes again fell to a 3-0 loss to confirm another group stage exit, before Tofting completed 90 minutes in their final game as Denmark suffered a third successive defeat – losing 2-0 to Czech Republic. 

Returning to Hamburg following the tournament, a change of manager saw him move to Bolton Wanderers midway through the 2001/02 season with the hope of securing his place in Denmark’s 2002 World Cup squad. 

Making six appearances as the Trotters narrowly avoided relegation, he did enough to secure his place, going on to start all of Denmark’s group games against Senegal, Uruguay and France as they qualified for the knockout stages. 

However, facing England in the second round, goals from Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey saw Denmark exit the competition, with Tofting calling time on his international career soon after. 

Making 11 appearances for Bolton during the 2002/03 season, he later enjoyed further playing spells with Tianjin Teda, AGF, Hacken and Randers before hanging up his boots in 2007.

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