The Semi-Finals of the UEFA European Championships 2020, being played in 2021, are taking place over the next two days and Brentford will be represented. The 24 teams that started the competition have played 48 games between them. Just four teams and three games remain and for the first time ever there could be a Brentford player, or two, involved in a major international tournament Semi-Final.
Five Brentford players started the tournament and have played 13 games between them so far but only two remain involved. When Halil Dervişoğlu played for Turkey against Italy at the start of the event, he became the first contracted Brentford player to appear in the tournament. He followed in the footsteps of Henrik Dalsgaard, who is the only player to be on Brentford books and appear in a FIFA World Cup, as well Julian Jeanvier and Kamohelo Mokotjo, who appeared in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. Halil appeared twice for Turkey but they lost all three games and were eliminated.
Marcus Forss and Finland also left after the first stage. They beat Denmark in a game that will only ever be remembered for the remarkable work done to save the life of Christian Eriksen, who had a cardiac arrest on the pitch. However, defeats to Russia and Belgium left Finland third in Group B. The four best third-placed teams progressed to the later stages but Finland were ranked as fifth-best and were eliminated. Pontus Jansson was in the Sweden squad and was an unused substitute as they won Group E to reach the knock-out stages. He also stayed on the bench as Sweden were eliminated in the last Second Round game.
Denmark did manage to progress from Group B and their Brentford representatives helped them on the way. Mathias Jensen and Christian Nørgaard both played the later stages of Denmark's 4-1 win over Russia that secured their progress. Denmark continued their run with a 4-0 win over Wales in the Second Round. They then beat Czech Republic on Saturday to reach the last four.
Mathias and Christian both appeared as substitutes in that win over Czech Republic and have been involved heavily in their run so far. Mathias has been involved in all five games while Christian has played four. Mathias took his tally of Denmark caps to 11 in the win last Saturday while Christian now has eight caps.
Mathias and Christian will look to make Brentford history tomorrow, Wednesday 7 July. No Brentford player has ever appeared in the Semi-Finals of a major international tournament. Denmark play England in the last four at Wembley Stadium in a match that will kick-off at 8pm. If they reach the Final it will be on Sunday, 11 July.
The first Semi-Final takes place today, Tuesday 6 July. Italy will play Spain for the right to face England or Denmark. We will keep you up to date with all Brentford involvement in the event.