Niclas Jensen is a former professional footballer, who has played in some of Europe’s largest leagues. He has played in the English Premier League for Fulham FC and Manchester City. Furthermore, he has played in the German Bundesliga for Dortmund, for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie, as well as the Danish Superliga for FC København and Lyngby. His career statistics include 62 matches as a member of the Danish A-Team, where he played in the finals rounds during the World Cup 2002 and Euro 2004.
Which club means the most to you as a footballer?
Every club means something in their own special way. Despite being injured for quite some time, I felt my time at PSV Eindhoven was a blast because I learned so much and gained a lot of experience. My tenure at FC København also meant a lot, especially as there were three championships to play for. As a footballer, you play in order to be in those championships.
Which footballer has been the biggest inspiration for your career?
A very special Dane called Michael Laudrup. I had very good technique and was good at making the right shots. He played more offensively than I did but he was a huge inspiration, as I could see many of his qualities on the pitch. He was the best in the world at that time.
What is your greatest memory of the World Cup?
There are many but the match against France at the World Cup 2002 is etched into my memory. The day before the match, there was a wild feeling when Morten Olsen told me to start. I substituted the former Captain Jan Heinze. I can also remember clearly that before we looked around the stadium and came out onto the pitch, I suddenly struck by the enormity of the World Cup. The feeling was truly indescribable.
What does it mean to represent your homeland?
It is hard to describe. When you stand on the pitch listening to the national anthem, the experience is truly something else. I have been playing since I was 4 years old and had always dreamed of playing for the national team. I am so proud that I have fulfilled this dream.
Which is bigger, the Champions League final or the World Cup final?
Definitely the World Cup final because you are representing the whole country. You can only play once every 4 years. Many players make it to the Champions League but only the cream of the crop reach the World Cup.
Which players have you enjoyed competing against the most?
I have played against David Beckham on many occasions, who was one of the best players in the world. When I was in Manchester City, his position was directly opposite mine, as well as in the national team.
How much did the design and fit of the football shirt mean when you played?
I can remember back when I was 8 years old in B93, we had a trainer who found sponsors. All clubs had Hummel but we got Adidas. We were in agreement about the cool outfits. The other teams must have thought that we were fantastic, as we came on to the pitch like a parade.
Which shirt do you remember most from your career?
The FC København Umbro shirt was really cool because for its time, it was something else. The shirt had a red line, which was atypical from the usual white and blue. In my time, there was not much focus on the fit, which has now changed. There is more emphasis on the players that have to perform and the gear being up to standard to optimise their performance.
What do you think the best football shirt should consist of?
It should contain stripes. That is definitely the most important. I have always loved Juventus’ black and white striped design, where Michael Laudrup also played. It is a shirt I would have liked to play in.
What do you think of our Les Deux Umbro Shirt?
The fashion aspect is really cool. The shirt has a cool blend of classic and modern design, giving it a sort of retro feel.
How do you feel about Denmark’s chances?
I am very optimistic. Denmark does have a chance but it will be difficult and close. Eriksen will perform and he will be the most essential with assistance and scoring goals.