Moller Nielsen, architect of famous Danish victory, dies

Copenhagen: Richard Moller Nielsen, the man who led Denmark to an improbable European Championship title in 1992, has died in hospital in Odense, the Danish Football Associaation announced Thursday.

Moller Nielsen, who was 76, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in June last year and later underwent surgery.

Denmark`s victory in Sweden in 1992 was a triumph of fairytale proportions as the team had not even qualified for the finals and the players were preparing for thier summer holidays.

But the former Yugoslavia, torn apart by civil war, were thrown out of the competiton by European football`s governing body UEFA and Denmark were told to take their places at the last minute.

And, with a team crammed full of talent including goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, midfielder John Jensen and strikers Henrik Larsen and Fleming Povlsen, they defied the odds and beat the Netherlands in the semi-final before a memorable 2-0 win over then World Cup holders Germany in Gothenburg in the final.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Schmeichel led the tributes to Moller Nielsen.

He posted on Twitter: "Richard Moller Nielsen, an inspiration, my teacher and my friend. R.I.P my friend."

Moller Nielsen later managed the Finland and Israel national teams.