World-class women enter Danish football hall of fame

Two legends of Danish women's football, Lone Smidt Nielsen and Susanne Augustesen, are the first-ever women players to be inducted into Denmark's footballing hall of fame.

Lone Smidt Nielsen (left) and Susanne Augustesen
Lone Smidt Nielsen (left) and Susanne Augustesen ©DBU

For the first time in history, two big names from the women’s game have been inducted into Danish football’s hall of fame.

At this year’s Danish football awards ceremony, Lone Smidt Nielsen and Susanne Augustesen were named as the latest new editions to Danish football’s hall of fame, making them the first women in the prestigious company of players such as Michael Laudrup, Allan Simonsen and Peter Schmeichel.

During her career, Smidt Nielsen was often described as the best female player in the world and, among numerous achievements, won the Italian championship twice with her club Sanitas Trani. In 2015 she was named female football player of the century by the Danish FA.

Like Smidt Nielsen, Augustesen played for Sanitas Trani and was part of the championship winning team in the 1980s. In total, she won six Italian championships and was Serie A’s top scorer eight times, scoring more than 600 goals during her career overall. Her list of achievements also includes victory in the then unofficial Women’s World Cup in Mexico in 1971, when she scored all three goals in Denmark’s 3-0 win against the hosts in the final, in front of 110,000 spectators at Estadio Azteca.

In their acceptance speeches both women underlined how proud they were to be part of the increased focus on women’s football in Denmark over recent years and said that they wanted to serve as role models for girls playing football all over the country.

The Danish football hall of fame was established in 2008, providing a unique opportunity to remember great accomplishments and to honour those responsible for the finest results in Danish football. Candidates for the hall of fame are nominated by a special committee and are named at the annual Danish football awards ceremony.

This article first appeared in UEFA Direct No167