FC Copenhagen was only founded in 1992, but has been on a remarkable, steady rise since then. Having won the Danish Superliga 10 times, Danish Cup five times and featured regularly in European competition, it is now the highest ranking Scandinavian club in the UEFA team rankings list, sitting in 46th place.
The club was born after a merger between Kjøbenhavens Boldklub and Boldklubben 1903 that also involved the building of a home for the newly-formed outfit.
Their first season saw a tremendously close finish in the league, eventually coming out on top one point ahead of Odense BK and two in front of enduring rivals Brøndby IF.
The next campaign began with a 0-6 lesson by AC Milan in the 1993/4 Champions League qualifiers, but they continued to prosper domestically, finishing a close second in the Superliga that year.
In the subsequent years they struggled to make an impact until their fortunes were given a spark by the installation of Roy Hodgson as manager in 2000, who went on to guide them to their second domestic championship in the following season.
But it wasn’t until 2006/7 that their European ambitions became reality, beating Ajax to reach the Champions League group stage with a squad that included Jesper Grønkjaer. Then, in 2010/11, they made history by becoming the first Danish club to go through to the last 16, where they were defeated by Gronkjaer’s former side, Chelsea.
FC Copenhagen play their home games at the purpose-built 38,065 seater Parken Stadium, which was opened in 1992: the year that the club was founded.
The stadium has also hosted the national team’s matches ever since it was built on the site of the former national ground, Idraetsparken.
It will be familiar to Juventus fans as the ground where the Bianconeri drew 1-1 with Nordsjaelland during their Champions League campaign last season, and others may remember it as the site of the 2000 UEFA Cup Final between Arsenal and Galatasaray, as well as the Eurovision Song Contest 2001.
Olof Mellberg is a familiar face in European football, having spent the majority of his career at Aston Villa before featuring for Juventus, Olympiakos and most recently Villarreal. The Swede is exceptional in the air, and scored a header in Copenhagen’s first victory of the season against Viborg FF.
Brazilian midfielders Claudemir and Cesar Santin are key members of the side, and Belgian Under 21 striker Igor Vetokele has a tendency to pull off acrobatic goals.
Captain Lars Jacobsen is an experienced right-back who had spells in England with Everton, Blackburn and West Ham.
Two players were brought in on deadline day to strengthen Stale Solbakken’s squad: Danish international midfielder Daniel Braaten from Toulouse and Austrian Georg Margreitter on loan from the manager’s former club Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The club also signed former Juventus defender Olof Mellberg earlier in the window, while towering striker Andreas Cornelius has left the reigning champions in a lucrative move to Cardiff City.
Promising youngsters Nigerian Fanando and German Marvin Pourié have also arrived amongst others.
Stale Solbakken is the team’s current head coach, having returned to the club for a second shot at leading the team to glory on 21 August.
During his first spell with FC Copenhagen between January 2006 and May 2011, he won five Danish Superliga championships to add to the one that he lifted there as a player in 2001.
After his playing career was abruptly ended by a heart attack suffered in training in March 2001, he turned his hand to coaching.
He led HamKam to promotion in his first season as a manager, a feat which saw him receive the Norwegian Manager of the Year award in 2004, prompting Copenhagen to install him in their own dugout.
On deciding against renewing his contract, he went on to manage Cologne and Wolverhampton Wanderers before making an emotional return to the Parken Stadium this summer.