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Rasmus Hojlund reveals disappointment at Denmark’s Euro 2024 exit

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Rasmus Hojlund reveals disappointment at Denmark’s Euro 2024 exitManchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund has revealed he feels “a bit guilty” over Denmark’s exit from Euro 2024 following last night’s defeat to Germany in an emotional post on social media.The 21-year-old forward had endured a disappointing tournament throughout the group stages with Denmark only finishing second in Group C due to a fair play technicality.The Danes failed to win a game in their group, drawing all three matches. While this included a resolute performance against England, it was sandwiched by two abject draws with Slovenia and Serbia.Denmark did come second with three points, but they finished level with Slovenia on points, head-to-head record, goal difference and goals scored.This meant the countries’ fair play record became the distinguishing factor, though the actual playing squad for both sides was identical, requiring a yellow card shown to Slovenia assistant coach Milivoje Novakovic to be the deciding factor. Hardly a resounding success for a country who has previously won a European Championship and reached the semi-final of the last tournament.Hojlund’s performances in the group stages matched his teammates. Laboured, ineffective and lacking any sense of guile, the United man looked every bit the unrefined forward he did at points throughout his debut season in England.However, these performances were also largely balanced by promising displays for the Red Devils, where Hojlund looked decisive and deadly in equal measure, combining pace and power in a potent pairing up front. At only 21 years of age, with just two seasons of top flight European experience, the scope for improvement is considerable for the young striker.Last night’s defeat against Germany was a far better display than Hojlund had produced earlier in the tournament. Yet his finishing (or lack thereof) was poor in crucial moments, ultimately contributing to his country’s departure, despite a much better team performance.Germany triumphed as 2-0 winners but it was far from an easy ride for the host nation. At one point in the second half, Denmark opened proceedings courtesy of a strike by Crystal Palace’s Joachim Andersen, only for the defender’s goal to be controversially ruled out by the slimmest of offsides.A few minutes later, Andersen completed his transformation from potential hero to definite zero, as he conceded a penalty from an extremely harsh handball to let the Germans do as the Germans do, and score from the penalty spot.A counter-attack fifteen minutes later, with Denmark pushing forward for an equaliser, secured victory for Germany. Jamal Musiala finished expertly around Kasper Schmeichel, son of United legend Peter, to put the game beyond the reach of the Danes, but a 2-0 result masks how even the game was.Hojlund was a constant menace, offering glimpses of strong link-up play and excellent counter-pressing. One such example of his work-rate came in the first half as he nicked the ball of Nico Schlotterbeck to fashion a chance for himself. But, in line with his previous performances throughout the Euros, the striker ballooned the ball well over Manuel Neuer’s net.Two more chances came for Hojlund; one, a beautiful counter-attack orchestrated by fellow United star, Christian Eriksen, which the 21-year-old was unlucky not to finish with a cute chip over Neuer; the second saw Hojlund’s smart movement give himself enough space in the German box to unleash a powerful shot, but his placement was directly at the Bayern Munich goalkeeper.It was these chances Hojlund was likely referring to when he revealed he “felt a bit guilty” in an emotional Instagram post thanking the Danish fans after the game.He wrote: “To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect from my first Euros. Supporting Denmark during a tournament was always one of the highlights as a Dane, playing for Denmark was indescribable. I was so eager, and wanted so badly to make our country proud. I texted one of my friends that I felt a bit guilty. It’s a weird sentimental mix, because there’s also pride. Obviously we wanted to bring the cup home, but the thing that will always bring me pride, both as a footballer and a Dane: Vi er røde, vi er hvide. Vi står sammen, side om side.”While Hojlund will naturally be disappointed, he must take heart from the nature of his performance last night, rather than the result, as he seeks to build on a promising debut season in English football next year.Want to be the first to hear breaking Man United news? For carefully selected, crucial updates, join our WhatsApp channel: https://bit.ly/United-Breaking-News.

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