Why a 2018 World Cup team was forced to start a prison guard, a YouTube star and high school students in a friendly match

Denmark lost to Slovakia, 3-0, on Wednesday in an international friendly that was supposed to be a tune-up for UEFA Nations League play this weekend (more on how the tournament works here). On paper, the loss may look like a bit of a surprise. After all, Denmark reached the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia where it lost to eventual tournament runner-up Croatia. However, when you glance at the roster and watch the footage, the loss to Slovakia makes more sense.

None of the players from the World Cup squad participated, and due to a commercial dispute between the regular players and the federation, a makeshift team that featured a prison guard, an internet star, a salesman and a student played in the game. As BBC points out, pro players for Denmark's top two divisions, and those players based overseas like Tottenham star Christian Eriksen weren't available. 

Instead, there was a mixture of semi-pro players with side jobs, Danish futsal players and more. Christian Offenberg played up top. He's a part-time salesman at an advertisement agency during the day and a third division soccer player at night. Midfielder Rasmus Johansson plays in the third division but is more known for his freestyle soccer moves online. 

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Se til ende 😉⚽️💪

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And they went up against a Slovakia team that has players like Napoli star Marek Hamsik, hence the scoreline, and the one shot on target and only 27 percent possession for Denmark.

There was no word if they tried to get latex salesman Art Vandelay to play.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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