Nicolai Boilesen has said that Denmark’s international footballers will be delighted to get back to business when they face Wales on Sunday in the Nations League.
A dispute over commercial payments saw the team unable to feature in a midweek encounter in Slovakia, resulting in a hotchpotch of semi-professionals and futsal players turning in a credible 3-0 defeat.
But a resolution to the problem has been found, much to the delight of the Copenhagen player, who has spoken about what has been an unhappy period.
“It has been a hectic and frustrating week, because as football players, what we want most is to play football – and obviously we are always proud to play for our country,” the former Ajax man told Goal.
“We were all gathered in Copenhagen. I play for FC Copenhagen, so for me it was a short walk from my home to the hotel, where we met, but for the other players, they were traveling from all over Europe.
“We all showed up because we wanted to play and we tried our best to get an agreement so that we could play the two internationals.
“I love to play for Denmark – it was a terrible feeling for all of us not being able to do that because of the conflict.
“Happily, in the end we agreed with the football federation, and now we have full focus on the Wales match.”
The encounter against Ryan Giggs’ side is the Danes’ first in the Nations League, and Boilesen admits the new competition is a more appetising prospect than a friendly.
“This is an important match, our first in the Nations League, and we are really looking forward to it. It adds some extra spice that we are playing for points instead of a friendly,” he said.
Meanwhile, he believes it would be too simplistic to say this game is about preventing Real Madrid man Gareth Bale from playing.
“It is definitely an important mission to stop Bale. He is a truly top-class player and it will take a great team effort to make sure that he won’t shine against us,” he said. “It would be wrong to use man marking – he is too good for that, so we need to make sure tactically and by supporting each other on the pitch that he does not get the space he wants.”
“We have a lot of respect for Bale, but also for the Wales team in general. Beating Ireland 4-1 proves how good they are. I also like Aaron Ramsey. Like Bale he is technically very gifted.”
Denmark could draw level on points with Wales with victory on Sunday, but a defeat would leave them playing catch up in the group.