Oops, Denmark CAN Win The World Cup! : Planet Money Listeners question whether Denmark's high taxes mean the country will never win the World Cup.
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Oops, Denmark CAN Win The World Cup!

Jon Dahl Tomasson of Denmark challenges Nani of Portugal during the FIFA2010 Group One World Cup Qualifying match between Portugal and Denmark. Clive Rose/Getty Images) hide caption

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Clive Rose/Getty Images)

On Friday's podcast we questioned whether Denmark's super-high taxes would stop the country from winning the World Cup. The idea being that soccer players and other highly paid Danes leave the country to avoid paying such high taxes.

After that podcast aired, many of you wrote to tell us we were wrong to say players going abroad could hurt the country's chances of winning in the World Cup.

I'll let listener Yajur P. explain:

I just wanted to put my soccer nerd hat on and point out a bit of misinterpretation regarding Danish soccer players going abroad to play. Even though they play professionally in Germany, Spain, or England, they still represent Denmark internationally in the World Cup because, well, they're Danish. And in fact, Denmark has a historically strong soccer team, especially for such a small country. They actually won the Euro 1992 competition (sort of a mini World Cup for European teams only, held two years after the World Cup), and they qualified for this year's World Cup at the top of their group, ahead of strong teams like Portugal and Sweden. In fact, a lot of people would say that it's a strength that Danish players go abroad to other countries where they play different styles of soccer, which helps them improve their own skills. I guess it can be compared to the many Chinese intellectuals who were educated in the US and Europe, and have gone back to China to make their own country strong.

Thanks for keeping us on our toes.