Posts Tagged ‘Arsenals Nicklas Bendtner’

Jon Dahl Tomasson Closes in on Poul Nielsen

Jon Dahl Tomasson Closes in on Poul Nielsen

Danish captain Jon Dahl Tomasson, currently plying his trade with Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivise, has scored 51 international goals. As Denmark are one of the 32 nations who have successfully qualified for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, he has a great chance to equal or better his country’s international scoring record on football’s grandest stage. This record, which stands at 52, has stood for an incredible 85 years. However, even if he does break it, his international strike rate will never be comparable to that of the current record holder, the late Poul ‘Tist’ Nielsen. It has taken Tomasson 107 matches to close in on this record (the second highest caps total for any Danish outfield player), while it only took Nielsen 38 matches to get his 52 goals. Nielsen’s goal per game ratio was an astonishing 1.37 per international, compared to Tomasson’s only very respectable 0.46.

Poul ‘Tist’ Nielsen (December 25, 1891 August 9, 1962)Nielsen was an amateur footballer for Danish Club KB (Kjbenhavns Boldklub). He played with them for 20 years, scoring 276 goals in 201 games, before retiring in 1927. His nickname ‘Tist’ came from the Danish word Gratist, which translates roughly as ‘free of charge’. He was given this moniker as a young boy because of his tendency to sneak into football matches without paying at the gate. He won 6 Danish championships with KB, but only got the chance to play at one international tournament, winning a silver medal at the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm. Nielsen played when international football was at its relative infancy, which accounts for his low number of caps for such a long career. On average Denmark would play only about 3 international matches a year, often against the same opposition. In fact 41 of his 52 goals came against only two teams, Sweden and Norway (some of these matches had extraordinary results including a 10 0 victory over Sweden, and a 12 0 victory over Norway).

Tomasson’s Hopes for South Africa 2010While Nielsen never got the chance to play at a World Cup, this summer Tomasson will be making his second appearance, having also played in 2002. That time he had an excellent tournament scoring 4 goals, helping Denmark to top a group that included France, Uruguay, and Senegal. With a decent squad that includes Arsenals’ Nicklas Bendtner, Palermo’s Simon Kjr, and Wolfsburg’s Thomas Kahlenberg, Denmark look a good bet to get out of what, apart from The Netherlands, seems a reasonable group. Tomasson’s place in the line up is far from guaranteed though. With Nicklas Bendtner virtually assured of a starting position, and with Sren Larsen also competing for a place, he seems most likely to start on the bench. If he does score, it would be a fitting end to a brilliant international career for the 33 year old, whose clubs have included Villareal, Stuttgart, Newcastle, and AC Milan. Having not scored in his last seven internationals however, he must wonder if he’s destined not to break the longest standing record in International football.