West Ham defender Alves eyes European under-21 Championship glory
- Credit: PA
Frederik Alves says he and his Denmark teammates are full of confidence going into the UEFA European U21 Championship knockout stages.
The Danes take on Germany in the quarter-finals on Monday evening having gone unbeaten in all 13 ties they have played in the competition so far – winning eight and drawing two in the qualification round before winning all three group-stage matches to reach the last eight.
Alves has been part of the squad for the majority of those matches, starting qualification round wins over Northern Ireland and Malta and appearing as a substitute in the group-stage victory over Russia that set up the meeting with Germany.
The tie will be held at the MOL Aréna Sóstó in the Hungarian town of Székesfehérvár, where the 21-year-old believes Denmark have the quality to overcome their opponents and reach the semi-finals.
“I am looking forward to see all the boys again in the group stages, and I am very positive about the upcoming match against Germany,” said the centre-back, who started 12 times for West Ham’s U23s in Premier League 2 Division 1 after joining from Danish club Silkeborg in January.
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“In the group stages me and the boys really learned how much quality our team has playing against both great and lesser opponents, giving us the mentality of how to play either as the underdogs or as the favourites.”
Denmark were truly outstanding in the group stage, scoring six goals without reply in wins over France, Iceland and Russia to finish top of their section with a perfect nine points out of nine.
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Opponents Germany, meanwhile, won just once, drawing their other two ties to finish second to the Netherlands, and Alves believes the Danes have what it takes to overcome the 2019 runners-up and set up a semi-final with the Netherlands or France and potentially reach the final for the first time in their country’s history.
“We beat France 1-0 in the group stages, so I think we can beat any team!” he confirmed. “Since I’ve been on this team, I’ve only seen a very high level of football in both training and games, so I really think we could go to the end of this competition!”