If asked which player had collected the most yellow cards in a qualifying campaign, you would tend to nominate a defender or midfielder. Not so in the case of Denmark, where the dubious honour goes to keeper Thomas Sorensen, albeit with a relatively modest total of two bookings.
Sorensen took over in goal for the national team at the start of the decade, and the task was a daunting one, as he emerged as the successor to no less a great than Peter Schmeichel. The 1992 and 1993 World Goalkeeper of the Year was one of the outstanding players in Denmark’s stunning European championship triumph back in 1992 and spent long years starring on the European stage for Manchester United.
It was a special moment for Sorensen when he chalked up a first full cap in November 1999 as a sub for the injured Schmeichel. Sorensen has been a consistent performer since then, contesting more than 80 international matches. His wealth of experience encompasses three FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaigns (2002, 2006, 2010), and a taste of the finals in 2002. That familiarity with the big stage should stand him in good stead for the showdown in South Africa.
Sorensen kept goal seven times as the Danes progressed to the finals, clocking up an excellent personal record of five victories, one draw, and one defeat, conceding just two goals in the process. Furthermore, the solitary loss, a 1-0 defeat to Hungary in the final fixture, was in any case a dead rubber. At that stage, the Danes had already booked their place at the finals, the first time the 'Dynamite' have achieved this with any games to spare.
Nor is the keeper ever likely to forget the trip to face bitter rivals Sweden, when he beat out Kim Källstrom’s 12th-minute penalty to pave the way for a famous 1-0 triumph in Solna.
In terms of club football, Sorenson started out with Odense and Svendborg before switching to the English Premier League in 1998 with Sunderland. He had a successful spell at Aston Villa before joining Stoke City, where he plays today.