Brentford midfield player Christian Nørgaard has continued to climb the list of our most-capped internationals and is now in the top five. Since Brentford entered the Football League more than a century ago, more than 1,000 players have appeared in our colours. There are now only four who have earned more international caps while with The Bees than Christian.
Christian earned his 12th cap for Denmark on Tuesday night, 7 September, and has won all of them in the past 12 months. He came off the substitute’s bench to help his country to a 5-0 win over Israel in a qualification match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Denmark have won all six of their matches in Group F of the European qualification process and look set to reach the tournament, which will be played next winter.
Christian played in all of Denmark’s three games in the past week. They beat Scotland and Faroe Islands before the win over Israel. Christian started against the Faroes and the 12th cap he earned against Israel, when he was a late substitute, puts him in elite company.
Brentford players have been involved in international football for longer than The Bees have been a Football League side. Brentford’s first international was Joe Connor, who played twice for the Ireland national football team, which represented the island of Ireland from 1882 until 1950, in 1903. Tommy Shanks also represented Ireland in 1905 and it was then almost 30 years until Dai Hopkins became Brentford’s third international, representing Wales.
Brentford played in the upper echelons of the First Division in the late 1930s and nine players won international honours, including the Club’s only two England internationals to date – Billy Scott and Leslie Smith. Only Dai made a real impact while on Brentford’s books, with his 12 caps remaining a Club Record for more than 50 years. That was broken by Malta international John Buttigieg.
John signed for Brentford in November 1988. He spent just under three years with The Bees, leaving at the end of the 1990/91 season. In that period, John made 20 international appearances. His 97 games for his country leaves him eighth on Malta’s most capped player list.
Brentford players were selected for their countries throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but no-one earned more than 12 caps until Henrik Dalsgaard and Kamohelo Mokotjo. Both joined Brentford in 2017 and were part of their international squads while with The Bees. Henrik earned 22 of his 26 Denmark caps while with The Bees, which makes him the Club’s most capped player. He was the first Brentford player to appear in a World Cup, helping Denmark reach the last 16 in Russia in 2018.
Kamohelo played 15 times for South Africa while with Brentford, which puts him third on our most capped list. He, along with Julian Jeanvier for Guinea, played in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He is one of only a few Brentford players, a list that also includes Mathias Jensen, Christian, Henrik, Marcus Forss and Halil Dervişoğlu, to have appeared in an international tournament.
Henrik, John and Kamohelo are three of the four Brentford players to have more caps while at the Club than Christian, the other was part of the same squad this week. Mathias Jensen also played for Denmark against the Faroes and Scotland and took his personal tally to 13 caps, which places him fourth on our all-time list. Christian is level with Dai Hopkins and Icelandic international Hermann Hreiðarsson, who earned 12 of his 89 caps while with The Bees, next on the list.
Denmark are back in action in October when they continue the qualification process for the FIFA World Cup 2022. More Club Records could be broken during the next international fixture programme with the potential for someone to be our 50th man to play for their country. The 250th Brentford FC cap is also on the horizon and, with so much international football to be played in the next 15 months, our players will be making their mark on the world stage.