Denmark star Schmeichel was eligible to play for England – but never would have

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Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will aim to prevent England from reaching the Euro 2020 final on Wednesday night – but things could have turned out differently had he opted to play for the Three Lions instead.

Schmeichel and co are set to battle it out with Gareth Southgate's men for a place in Sunday's showpiece at Wembley, where the winner will meet Italy following their dramatic penalty shootout win over Spain on Tuesday.

The Danes are looking to reach their first European Championship final since 1992, when they beat Germany to win the competition for the only time in their history.

They may well need to rely on Schmeichel in Wednesday's semi-final, with the Leicester star's performance in between the sticks likely to be significant on the night.

And Denmark's No.1 shot-stopper heads into the match knowing he had the opportunity to play for England before his international career got underway.

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As the son of legendary Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Kasper moved to England at the age of five when his dad secured a switch to Old Trafford.

Schmeichel Sr spent eight years with United, where he cemented a legacy as one of the greatest Premier League players of all time, meaning the youngster spent most of his childhood in England.

To receive British citizenship, applicants need to have resided in the UK for at least five years, which meant Kasper would have been able to do so and represent England at international level.

He instead chose to play for Denmark through the younger age groups before making his senior debut in a 2013 friendly against Macedonia, six years after Peter ruled out the possibility of him wearing an England shirt.

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"Kasper is Danish," Peter said in 2007. "He has absolutely no chance of playing for England and the discussion should stop now.

"England is for English people, Kasper was born Danish, all his family is Danish and there is nothing that can make him English. If you ask him he says 'I'm Danish and I play for Denmark'".

  • Euro 2020
  • England Football Team

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