Matthew Benham’s Danish club FC Midtjylland – ambitions, key players, and trophies

Newly promoted Premier League club Brentford is owned by the British “mystery investor” Matthew Benham.

What most people might also know is that he also owns the Danish club FC Midtjylland, nicknamed “The Wolves” (“Ulvene”, in Danish), just like Wolverhampton Wanderers.

But what is FC Midtjylland actually? What kind of a club is it, what have they achieved, what’s their ambitions, and who is their key players?

We will have a brief look at the above-mentioned questions in this article.

The history of FC Midtjylland – founded in 1999

FC Midtjylland is a fusion between two clubs from Central Jutland (Midtjylland means Central Jutland): Herning Fremad and Ikast FS.

Both clubs had an ambition of competing with the best clubs in Denmark, which is why they decided to partner up.

The new club started in the second tier and won promotion to the top tier in their first year.

In their debut season in the first tier, the Superligaen, they finished fourth.

FC Midtjylland didn’t succeed in winning the national championship in the period leading up to Benham’s entry in the club in 2014.

A few second and third places were achieved, but no championships.

Matthew Benham then brought a lot of value to the club with his company called SmartOdds.

This provided lots of data, statistics, and knowhow that the club has been benefitting from up to this day when scouting players.

And finally: Benham brought lots of capital that made the everyday life a lot easier for the club.

Benham’s fortune is not least founded by his great betting abilities.

The club owner has never revealed how much he earned on betting, but it was certainly enough to make him rich.

Today, he owns two big clubs himself that everybody else can bet on.

And speaking of which: If you want to stay updated about the best FC Midtjylland picks, you ought to keep an eye on the Danish betting site BetXpert.

The site is well-known for its non-biased analyses – not only on Danish football, but lots of other leagues as well.

 Now we will have a look at the FC Midtjylland’s trophies and ambitions.

Trophies, accomplishments, and ambitions

The new owner and his company SmartOdds were an immediate success, as one year after Matthew Benham bought FC Midtjylland, they won their first Danish championship in 2015. 

Since then, two more national titles have been added, in 2018 and 2020.

Besides this, the club won the national cup tournament in 2019.

Championships are great, but it is not enough for FC Midtjylland.

They also want to play in the European tournaments and become a top 50 club in Europe by 2025.

To achieve this, they must qualify for European group stages almost every season.

This season, 2021/2022, they have qualified for the Europe League.

In Group F, FC Midtjylland have been paired with Bulgarian Ludogorets Razgrad, Serbian FK Crvena Zvezda, and Portuguese SC Braga.

This is a very fine draw for the Danes, who have realistic hopes of finishing in the top two and thereby reaching the Last 32 in the tournament.

A third place will take them through to the knock-out phase of European Conference League.

The participation in the Europe League will be FC Midtjylland’s third European group stage.

In 2016, they played in the Europe League and advanced from the group, only to be knocked out by Manchester United after a 2-1 win in Denmark and a 1-5 loss at Old Trafford.

Last season, in 2020/2021, the club went through three qualification rounds and got all the way to the UEFA Champions League group stage.

They got two points from their six group games against Liverpool, Atalanta, and Ajax Amsterdam.

FC Midtjylland’s key players

Matthew Benham’s Danish side has lots of quality players.

Followers of the Scottish Premiership might remember the central defender, Erik Sviatchenko as he played for Celtic from January 2016 to January 2018 before turning back to FC Midtjylland.

He is now the captain of the team and his heading skills are very good which he also showed on various occasions in the 2020/2021 Champions League group stage.

Another big name at FC Midtjylland is the former La Liga and Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto.

Sadly, he is a bit in and out of the team because of varying performances but this season, he has started out well and when he is at his best, he is too good to be at FC Midtjylland and the Danish Superliga.

Brazilian central midfielder Evander is orchestrating the team’s attacking play.

He plays magnificent passes, has a decent long shot and a great view of the game.

Evander has been rumoured to much bigger clubs, like FC Porto, on several occasions.

Newly signed striker Marrony from Atlético MG arrived with a price tag of 4.5 million Euros, plus some eventual bonuses, making him the club’s most expensive player ever.

He is yet to have his debut.  

Left back Paulinho, central midfielder Jens-Lys Cajuste, and 20-year-old winger Gustav Isaksen are also worth keeping an eye on.

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