Throwback to 2016 when Simon Kjær became Denmark's captain

Throwback to 2016 when Simon Kjær became Denmark's captain

Photo: 31 August 2016, Denmark vs Liechtenstein

In 2016 Simon Kjær became the captain of the Danish national team. This is a throwback to that moment, which was a dream cometrue for Simon. In the meantime he has fulfilled this role for many years, in the most successful way one could ever imagine. But what was it like when he was officially chosen? We've got a great video, impressive stories and quotes, and the best pictures. So, get ready... we're going back to 2016.

Simon Kjær: "I'm ready for it"

So we're back in 2016. Daniel Agger was captain at the time, but he retired. The coach back then was Åge Hareide. A new captain would start his job on 31 August 2016, during the friendly match against Liechtenstein. Although, it was pretty much clear that Simon Kjær would be the one, the coach doesn't say a word until the very last moment.

In the meantime, Simon Kjær was more than ready to take this new responsibility: "There are small leadership qualities that I have built on quietly over the years. I have tried to learn from former captains here in the national team, but if I am chosen as captain, I will try to do it my way. If I get the chance now, I am ready for it, and I will be happy and proud of it. I hope it goes my way."

Denmark manager Hareide: "I will not announce anything until Wednesday"

Before the friendly match against Liechtenstein, Simon Kjær wore the armband during the friendly matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-2, 3 June 2016) and the 4-0 win against Bulgaria (Japan, 7 June 2016). But the official announcement was still to be made.

Hareide: "I will not announce anything until Wednesday. But Simon Kjær was captain in Japan, and he did well. That's why he's also a good bet, let's put it that way."

Simon Kjær: "I would probably be disappointed if it wasn't me"

It was not only Simon's dream to play for the national team, but also to be the captain. At the same time, he has always been very respectful to the manager's decisions - which is still the case, even now, many years later.

Simon Kjær: "I would probably be disappointed if it wasn't me. But it will neither benefit me nor the team, and since it is not a decision I can control myself, my focus as a footballer is on the pitch, where I can do my job."

"Even though I'm 27 years old, I've tried a lot and have a lot of experience. I am a person who shouts and screams on the pitch and makes high demands both of myself and of my fellow players, and I always try to influence everyone in the right direction to help the team."

"I always try to influence everyone in the right direction to help the team."

- Simon Kjær

Simon Kjær official captain of Denmark on 31 August 2016

During the friendly match against Liechtenstein, the moment was finally there: Simon Kjær entered the pitch as the official captain of Denmark. In his hometown Horsens, Denmark. He had to be substituted during half time, due to a minor injury. The match ended in a 5-0 victory for Denmark.

What was that like? Let's go ahead with this historical video of our legend.

Video Simon Kjær after Denmark vs Liechtenstein in 2016

Watch the aftermatch video and read the English translation below.

Simon Kjær: "A huge honor for me. Something I am incredibly grateful for. The fact that it is in Horsens is of course also special. My whole family was here, so it was a great evening and something that I am incredibly happy about.

Of course I have to take on greater responsibility and try to direct new and young people and try to keep the threads together with the coach and of course also with the other experienced ones.

We are many young people, and with new systems there can often be some misunderstandings. With experience, you find it a little easier to see those things. It is of course something I try to help with, but otherwise I just have to play football."

Simon Kjær: "There is a great faith in things. The things we focus on are well suited to the players we have. We try to get the best out of each individual.

I think it looks really nice, and we keep building on and building on. 9-0 in two games, it seems to be a while ago.

I got hit on the hip. Precisely at that point, there is not much room when it starts to rise up. It hampered my movements quite a bit in the end, so there was no reason to take a risk.

I am ready for Sunday."

31 August 2016, Simon Kjær and Christian Eriksen

Simon Kjær's first dressing room celebration as a captain

After the 5 - 0 win the Danes had their typical dressing room celebration. This time with Simon Kjær as the captain.

Fun fact: In the end of the celebration video they say something ... - a few years ago this line got named inappropriate and DBU banned it from the victory chant.

What was next?

With Simon Kjær as the captain, Denmark qualified for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The first big tournament for Denmark, after the 2012 Euros. Finally back at world class level. After that, they played the 2020 Euros, the World Cup 2022 and qualified for the 2024 Euros.

If you like this special throwback to 2016, please leave a comment on Instagram @simonkjaergifs.

Many thanks to Stine for contributing.

More news about Simon Kjær >

Also worth watching