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Euro 2020: Why does Denmark forward Yussef Poulsen have "Yurary" on the back of his shirt?

Yussuf Poulsen
(Image credit: Getty)

Denmark striker Yussuf Poulsen celebrating his goal against Russia, to send his nation into the Euro 2020 knockouts, has become an image that will live with anyone that saw it.

The Dane has played less as the tournament has progressed, with coach Kasper Hjulmand preferring Kasper Dolberg up top. But for many fans who are familiar with Poulsen from his club form at RB Leipzig, there has been a little confusion as to which player he actually is.

Poulsen doesn't carry his surname on the back of his shirt. In every game he's ever played for his country, he's had "Yurary" - and not his surname. 

On Wikipedia (opens in new tab), Yurary is listed as Poulsen's middle name. But the story is a little more interesting than that.

“When I came to Leipzig, I asked if I could have ‘Yurary’ on the jersey,” Poulsen once explained to SportBild. “But when I signed, they’d already printed the ‘Poulsen’ jerseys!”

Poulsen's father was from Tanzania and met his mother while working as a shipper in the import/export industry. Yurary was a huge football fan and Poulsen has often said how his dad was the reason that he got into the sport. 

Tragically, Yurary died of cancer when Yussuf was just six years old. The name on the back of Yussuf Poulsen's shirt, therefore, is in tribute to his late father. 

“I came to football through my father,” Poulsen told “He played regularly but not as a pro. That was a bad time for me and my family. We had to learn to live without him. 

“Today I associate every game with him.”


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Mark White
Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.