Denmark have confirmed Age Hareide as their new coach with the Norwegian immediately setting a target of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The Danes failed to reach Euro 2016 after losing a play-off to Nordic rivals Sweden, an outcome that brought forward Morten Olsen’s pre-arranged departure after 15 years in charge.
Hareide was available after leaving Malmo – his final game on Tuesday ending in a 8-0 thrashing by Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu – and the 62-year-old, who has also managed his native Norway, is excited at the challenge ahead.
He told the Danish Football Association’s (DBU) official website: “I am proud, happy and humbled to become Denmark coach and taking over from Morten Olsen, who I know personally and has been a fantastic coach.
“Denmark has a special position in the Nordic region and our team and fans deserve to go to the World Cup in 2018 and I look forward to fighting to achieve that.
“We have great potential with a very good defence and a number of good individual players who can make the team flourish. Then there are the many exciting talents that can put a mark on the team in the future.”
DBU chief executive Claus Bretton-Meyer was pleased with the appointment and highlighted the experience of Hareide, who has signed a two-year deal starting on March 1, 2016 with the option for a further two.
Bretton-Meyer said: “With Age Hareide we get a coach who has great passion, experience and success as a coach at both club and national team level.
“He will be tasked with continuing the development of the national team in conjunction with the players, coaches and staff of the Danish national team. We look forward to creating good results together.”