Along with Patrick Mtiliga, Mikkel Beckmann was one of the surprise names in Morten Olsen's Danish squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Indeed, his last appearance for the Danish Dynamite came more than two years ago.
Despite never appearing for the Danish national youth sides, Beckmann was handed his senior international debut by Olsen at the beginning of 2008 in a 2-1 friendly victory over Slovenia. Just a few weeks later he was again in the starting eleven, this time against the Czech Republic.
Further caps failed to come, but Beckmann's solid performances at domestic level for FC Randers, whom he joined in 2008, prompted Olsen to name him as a shock inclusion on the plane to South Africa.
With seven goals in fifteen matches in the second half of the Danish domestic campaign, the attacking midfielder was almost solely responsible for his club's Superliga survival. No wonder, then, that he was voted the best player of the second half of the season by the league's various coaches.
Beckmann's selection in Denmark's 23-man squad for the finals is therefore no less than the 1.83m winger deserves following a fantastic 2010 so far. The 26-year-old is hoping he can carry his good form to South Africa and inspire his team-mates to further success.