Few would disagree that it would come as a major surprise if Jesper Christiansen were to start in goal for Denmark at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Not due to any lack of ability, but simply because he has two top goalkeepers, Thomas Sorensen and Stephan Andersen, ahead of him in the pecking order.
While the other two shot-stoppers were able to gain vital competitive action en route to South Africa, Christiansen remained an unused substitute throughout his nation's successful qualification campaign.
The 2005, 2006 and 2007 Danish Goalkeeper of the Year almost brought an end to his football career before it had even started. A striker in his youth, the young Christiansen was reluctant to lead the life of a pro until one day he tried his luck between the sticks. Proving to be an extraordinary talent, he signed his first professional contract with second division Odense at 20 and led the club into the Danish top tier soon afterwards.
An unsuccessful stint in Scotland with Rangers was followed by a similarly unfruitful sojourn in Germany with Wolfsburg, leading Christiansen back to his homeland with Viborg in 2004. It was here that the 1.93m custodian finally realised his potential and ultimately worked his way into the Morten Olsen's Denmark squad. The 32-year-old made his debut for the Danish Dynamite in a 1-0 victory over Finland, though he has since made only around 15 appearances at international level.
Christiansen celebrated his first title after moving to league rivals FC Copenhagen, winning the Superliga championship in 2006/07.