Lars Jacobsen featured in no fewer than nine of Denmark’s’ ten qualifying games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, playing 766 out of a possible 900 minutes. Only Christian Poulsen (10 games; 882 minutes) and Dennis Rommedahl (10; 862) could boast more time on the pitch than the defender who made his top-flight debut in Denmark with Odense aged just 16 and was crowned Danish U-19 Player of the Year in 1997.
In 2002, Jacobsen won man of the match as his team lifted the Danish Cup before bringing an end to his Odense career to try his luck in Germany with Bundesliga giants SV Hamburg. Two frustrating seasons later, the 30-year-old came home to FC Copenhagen where he remained until 2008. Now, after spells with Nuremberg and Everton, the player is enjoying an impressive run of form at current home Blackburn Rovers in England.
Little wonder that national coach Morten Olsen can barely be without such a seasoned player at the moment. Though it was not always like that. Almost five years elapsed between Jacobsen’s final appearance for the national U-21 side in October 2001 and his first-team debut in March 2006. However, the full-back held down his place for the next seven games and is now an invaluable member of the Danish squad.
Jacobsen did have to take some time out at the start of the year with a muscle injury, but the defender is back to full fitness in time for the main event of the year and looks set to continue his proud appearance record at the finals in South Africa.