Michael Laudrup

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Michael Laudrup
Michael Laudrup.jpg
Laudrup as manager of Brøndby in 2007
Personal information
Full name Michael Laudrup[1]
Date of birth (1964-06-15) 15 June 1964 (age 50)
Place of birth Frederiksberg, Denmark
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder / Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Lekhwiya (manager)
Youth career
0000–1973 Vanløse
1973–1976 Brøndby
1977–1981 KB
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1982 KB 14 (3)
1982–1983 Brøndby 38 (24)
1983–1985 Lazio 60 (9)
1985–1989 Juventus 102 (16)
1989–1994 Barcelona 167 (49)
1994–1996 Real Madrid 62 (12)
1996–1997 Vissel Kobe 15 (6)
1997–1998 Ajax 21 (11)
Total 479 (130)
National team
1980 Denmark U-17 4 (2)
1980–1981 Denmark U-19 19 (12)
1982 Denmark U-21 2 (0)
1982–1998 Denmark 104 (37)
Teams managed
2000–2002 Denmark (assistant manager)
2002–2006 Brøndby IF
2007–2008 Getafe CF
2008–2009 Spartak Moscow
2010–2011 Mallorca
2012–2014 Swansea City
2014– Lekhwiya
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Laudrup (born 15 June 1964) is a retired Danish footballer and current manager of Qatar Stars League club Lekhwiya. During his playing career, he won league titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. Whilst playing for Spanish club Barcelona, he won nine trophies, including four straight La Liga titles. He moved to arch rivals Real Madrid in 1994, with whom he won his fifth La Liga title in a row. He made his debut for the Denmark national football team on his 18th birthday in 1982, and scored 37 goals in 104 appearances. From November 1994, he captained Denmark for a total of 28 matches,[2] including the victorious 1995 Confederations Cup tournament. He retired as an active player in June 1998.

In 1999, he was voted the Best Foreign Player in Spanish Football over the preceding 25-year period[3] and in April 2000 he was knighted, receiving the Order of the Dannebrog. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Denmark by the Danish Football Association; their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.[4] He was officially named the best Danish footballer of all time by the Danish Football Association (DBU) in November 2006.[5] He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards ceremony in 2004.[6]

After retiring as a player, Laudrup took up coaching, and became assistant manager of the Danish national team. He got his first manager job at former club Brøndby in 2002, whom he guided to the 2005 Danish Superliga championship. He chose not to extend his contract with Brøndby in May 2006. He took over as coach of Getafe, Madrid's third club, and had notable success there. He brought the club comparative success in the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup, and the team's attacking style brought plaudits. On 15 June 2012, Laudrup was appointed the manager of Premier League club Swansea City, signing a two-year contract.[7] In his first season in south Wales, Laudrup won the League Cup, the first major trophy in Swansea's 100-year history. On 4 February 2014 he was sacked by Swansea after a "significant" slump in the Premier League, leaving them two points above the relegation zone.[8]

Club career[edit]

Born in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Michael Laudrup started playing football in father Finn Laudrup's childhood club Vanløse. When Finn Laudrup became player/coach of Brøndby IF in 1973, the family moved to Brøndby and both Michael and his brother Brian Laudrup started playing for the club as well. Michael followed his father to the top-flight Danish 1st Division club Københavns Boldklub in 1976, while Brian remained at Brøndby.

Early career[edit]

He made his senior debut in 1981, and made his debut for the Danish under-19 national team in February 1981.[9] In all, he scored a combined total of 14 goals in 25 games at various youth levels. He went back to play for Brøndby in 1982, where his father had ended his career in 1981, contributing to the promotion of Brøndby to the 1st Division.

At Brøndby, Laudrup scored two goals in the club's 1st Division debut game, as fellow promoted team Boldklubben 1909 were beaten 7–1. Laudrup scored 15 league goals in 1982, and ended the season as the third top goal scorer of the 1st Division. His accomplishments earned him the 1982 Danish Player of the Year award. He played part of the 1983 season for Brøndby, and scored 9 goals, before he was sold to defending Serie A champions Juventus from Italy in June 1983. It was the biggest transfer deal in Danish football at the time, worth around $1 million. He was due to sign for Liverpool the same year on a 3-year contract, but Liverpool at the last minute changed the contract to 4 years and Laudrup decided not to join.[10]

Under restriction of a maximum of two foreign players in the team, of which the club had Polish midfielder Zbigniew Boniek and Michel Platini, Juventus initially lent him to newly promoted Rome club Lazio for a single season, something that Laudrup had not been informed about before signing for Juventus. With Lazio, He scored two goals in his Serie A debut in a 2–4 loss to Verona. In his first year at the club, Lazio narrowly avoided relegation, but as Juventus wanted to keep Boniek and Platini, Laudrup had to stay for another year. Lazio started the 1984–85 season badly, and they finished dead last and were relegated to Serie B, with Laudrup scoring just a single goal that season.

Laudrup returned to the Juventus side in summer 1985 to replace Zbigniew Boniek, playing alongside Michel Platini. In his first year at the club, he won the 1985–86 Serie A championship, as well as the Intercontinental Cup trophy, and Laudrup was once again named 1985 Danish Player of the Year. The following season was no success for Laudrup, who suffered multiple injuries, much like the majority of Juventus players, including Platini. When Platini retired in 1987, Laudrup was expected to lead the team in his place, playing alongside newly bought Welsh forward Ian Rush. But the 23-year-old failed to live up to Platini's standards, and did not score any goals, despite playing all 30 games of the 1987–88 season.

Barcelona[edit]

After an unsuccessful season with Juventus, Laudrup decided it was time to leave, looking for a new experience after six years in Italy. In 1989, he joined FC Barcelona of Spain on the premise that Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff, Laudrup's childhood role model, had been assembling a team that was striving for success. Immediately, Laudrup enjoyed tremendous success under Cruyff's leadership, citing the Dutchman's philosophy and perception of the game as one of the main assets that helped foster his talent. He was one of the restricted three foreign players allowed in the team, alongside Dutch defender Ronald Koeman and Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov, who were the pillars of Barça coach Johan Cruyff's Dream Team, along with rising stars Pep Guardiola, Bakero, and Begiristain.

The Dream Team played beautiful and attractive football that was comparable only to the 1970s Ajax team, and won four consecutive La Liga championships from 1991 to 1994, as well as the 1991–92 European Cup, along with the 1992 UEFA Super Cup, 1989–90 Copa del Rey, and 1991 and 1992 Supercopa de España titles. Laudrup was twice elected the best player of the year in Spain during his Barcelona years. When Barça hired a fourth foreign star player, Brazilian striker Romário in 1993 it meant the four foreigners would rotate as the three foreign players allowed in each match, and when Laudrup wasn't selected for the 1994 European Cup final 0–4 loss to Milan (amid conflicts with Cruyff), his time at Barcelona was over.

Laudrup's departure from Barcelona was a huge blow for the fans and Laudrup's teammates alike. Reflecting on his time at Barcelona, Laudrup commented: "I think we played some very good football, and I think most of all we demonstrated that even without getting the ten best players in the world, you can have the best team. Because everybody talked about Begiristain, Bakero, Guardiola, Stoichkov, and Koeman, but when we started none of us was a best player, then we became maybe the best team in the world, together with AC Milan in that period."[11]

Real Madrid[edit]

In 1994, he completed a controversial move from Barça to Real Madrid after he fell out with Johan Cruyff. On this, Laudrup stated that he did not have a hidden agenda. It was the year before the 1994 World Cup, and, according to Laudrup, because players usually suffer a drop in performance after such a major international tournament, he correctly predicted that Barcelona would not win major trophies the following season.

Despite widespread belief that Laudrup joined arch rivals Real Madrid in an attempt to "get back" at Cruyff, the decision was based on the fact that Madrid had been struggling for a long period and were eager to return to supremacy, like Barcelona were when he decided to join them. Laudrup commented: "People say I wanted to go to Real Madrid just to get revenge. I say revenge from what? I've had a perfect time; five fantastic years here [at Barcelona]. I went to Madrid because they were so hungry to win, and they had four or five players who went to the World Cup. I said this would be perfect; new coach, new players, and hungry to win."[11]

Laudrup went on to guide Real Madrid in a championship winning season that would end the Barça stranglehold, making Laudrup the only player ever to win the Spanish league five times in a row playing for two different clubs. After the initial success at Real, a lacklustre season would be in store for the club. Despite only playing two seasons at Real Madrid, Laudrup was voted the 12th best player in Real history in an internet survey by Spanish newspaper Marca when the club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002.[12] While playing with Barcelona he participated in the 5–0 victory over rivals Real Madrid in the 1993–94 season. The following season while playing for Real Madrid he aided in the revenge beating that Madrid gave Barça, the final score also being 5–0.

In April 2013, he was named by Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history".[13]

Later career and retirement[edit]

In 1996, Laudrup left Madrid to play for Vissel Kobe in Japan, helping them to promotion from the second-tier Japan Football League to the J. League Division 1. He was registered as a player in Čelik Zenica in a controversial signing in which he didn't play any games for Čelik, but was signed as a player.[14] After the details were resolved, he ended his playing career in a championship winning season at Dutch team Ajax in 1998.

Following his retirement, Laudrup sometimes turned out to play for Lyngby's Old Boys team in his spare time.[15]

International career[edit]

Laudrup was called up for the Danish national team during Brøndby's debut season in the top-flight. On his 18th birthday 15 June 1982 he became the then second youngest Danish national team player ever, following Harald Nielsen. Despite playing for relegation battlers Lazio, Laudrup starred for the Danish national team at the Euro 1984, playing all four Denmark matches.

He took part in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, a performance which is best remembered for his exceptional solo dribble and goal in the 6–1 defeat of Uruguay. He was also a part of the disappointing Danish national team at the Euro 1988 tournament, though Laudrup experienced personal success as he scored one of Denmark's two goals.

Following three games in the qualification campaign for Euro 1992, Laudrup decided to quit the national team in November 1990 alongside Brian Laudrup and Jan Mølby, following differences with coach Richard Møller Nielsen.[16] the Danes failed to qualify originally but were given Yugoslavia's place as they were kicked out due to war in their country. Laudrup however rated their chances so low he stayed on holiday, a decision he must have regretted as Denmark beat holders Holland on penalties in the semi-finals with legendary keeper Peter Schmeichel surprisingly saving a Marco van Basten penalty in the shoot-out. In the final against world champions and red hot favourites Germany the Danes stunned the world with a 2–0 win thanks to goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort making it probably the biggest surprise in a European Championship final.

He returned to Nielsen's Danish squad in August 1993, but saw Spain and the Republic of Ireland qualify for the 1994 World Cup ahead of Denmark. He scored a goal in the 2–0 victory against Argentina, as Denmark won the 1995 Intercontinental Cup. He also scored four goals in 10 games as Denmark qualified for the Euro 1996, though the tournament would leave no positives for him.

His last games for Denmark came at the 1998 World Cup, when he captained Denmark to the quarter-final. He crowned his tournament performance with a trademark assist in the knock-out stage. In the Round of 16 elimination game against Nigeria, looking to his left, Laudrup launched a lob to his right, over the defenders. The pass was picked up by Ebbe Sand, who headed it past defender Taribo West, and converted the chance for the 3–0 goal in the 4–1 win against Nigeria. Denmark was defeated 2–3 by Brazil in the quarter-finals, and both Michael and Brian Laudrup announced their international retirement following the World Cup elimination.

Style of play[edit]

A play-making midfielder, Laudrup was known as one of the most effective attacking midfielders, as well as one of the most skillful and elegant players of the game and is still popular amongst fans. Laudrup was considered by many as one of the most technically accomplished players ever. He was ranked amongst the best players in Europe, and his talent was exceptional, with the French three time European footballer of the year award winner Michel Platini describing him as one of the most talented players ever, only lamenting his lack of selfishness causing him to score too few goals.[17]

His team mate in Real Madrid, Raúl has in an interview in April 2006 called Laudrup the best player he has ever played with.[18] His team mate in Barcelona, Romário has stated the same and added that Laudrup in his opinion is the fifth best player in the history of the game as he was able to create and score goals almost at will (behind Pelé, Diego Maradona, himself and Zinedine Zidane).[19] Laudrup was known as a gentleman on the pitch and never received a red card.

He was admired for his outstanding technique, elegance, deep passes and dribbling. Jorge Valdano, the Argentinian coach of Laudrup in Real Madrid, said "he has eyes everywhere". His trademark move – looking one way and passing the other – fooled countless opponents during his career. The Laudrup dribble was perhaps the best-known part of his game, as he quickly moved the ball from one foot to the other away from the defender. His outstanding skills were combined with an immense creativity. He always played the attack in the least obvious way, leaving the defense stranded. This has led to the expression "Made in Laudrup", widely used in Spain about his unique play. Numerous teammates of Laudrup have said: "Just run, he will always find a way of passing you the ball".

In Barcelona he played alongside Hristo Stoichkov, who scored many goals from Laudrup's passes, like Iván Zamorano (who called Laudrup el genio, the genius) during Laudrup's time at Real Madrid. Zamorano was going through a hard spell in Madrid, but when Laudrup arrived to assist his goals, Zamorano immediately became pichichi—top scorer of the Spanish league, La Liga. An impressive 82% of his goals from the 1994–95 season came from assists from Laudrup. Throughout his career his number of assists was impressive and almost always the highest of his team.

Managerial career[edit]

Laudrup during his time as assistant manager of Denmark in 2000.

Early years[edit]

After his playing career ended with Ajax, Laudrup became a coach at age 36 when he started serving as an assistant coach for the Danish national team coach Morten Olsen in 2000. The national team would play a 4–2–3–1 formation, depending on two fast wingers and with the aim to dominate games with a short-passing possession game. Together they led Denmark to the knock-out stage of the 2002 World Cup.

Laudrup as Brøndby manager

Brøndby[edit]

After his success as Denmark assistant manager, Laudrup signed on as manager for Danish Superliga club Brøndby. As his assistant coach, Laudrup paired up with former Danish championship winning manager John Jensen, who had played alongside him in the Danish national team. At the start of his reign, Laudrup proclaimed a tactical scheme close to that which Olsen and he had coached at the national team. Laudrup renovated the Brøndby team by letting a large contingent of older and experienced players leave, in favour of several new offensive players, and he also gave the chance to young talents from the club's youth scheme.

To ensure the defensive strength of the team, Laudrup signed proven national team player Morten Wieghorst. He began his reign as Brøndby manager by winning his first trophy in his managerial career, the 2002 Danish Supercup. In his first season as head coach, he guided the team to win the Danish Cup, after Brøndby beat FC Midtjylland 3–0 in the final and runners-up in the Danish Superliga. Laudrup's success led him to being voted and awarded the Danish Manager of the Year.

In the following season, he again finished the season runners-up to 1st place FC København by just one point. However, he would not be denied in the 2004–05 season, where he finally led the team to the Danish Superliga title. In the same season, he also completed The Double, after he won his second Danish Cup in four seasons. This saw him being given his second Danish Manager of the Year award. After finishing runners-up in the 2005–06 Danish Superliga, Laudrup announced that he, along with assistant Faxe Jensen, could not come to an agreement for one-year contract extension that was offered by the club, and after winning four trophies in four seasons, Laudrup and Jensen left Brøndby in June 2006.[20]

Laudrup was associated with several new jobs, including becoming manager of former club Real Madrid. Rumours also surfaced that he would replace Lars Lagerbäck as head coach of the Sweden national team. In 2007, Brøndby decided to name a new lounge at the stadium "The Michael Laudrup Lounge", with Laudrup's approval. Laudrup's success led him to being voted and awarded the Danish Manager of the Year.

Getafe[edit]

On 21 June 2007, he was linked to a move to Madrid based La Liga club Getafe by sports newspaper Marca. This was confirmed on 9 July 2007. During his stay in Getafe the club reached the final in Copa del Rey, but lost to Valencia, and the quarter finals in the UEFA Cup (lost in extra time to Bayern Munich). During his tenure, as successor to former Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster, he brought a new brand of exciting and free-flowing attacking football to the club which brought back memories of Laudrup as a player. His team, which was not one of the established forces in Spanish football, enjoyed comparative success. However, he performed only one season as manager, tendering his resignation in May 2008.[21]

After Laudrup announced his departure from Getafe he was linked with jobs at Barcelona,[22] Valencia, Benfica, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Panathinaikos, CSKA Moscow and West Ham United. He almost got the job at Panathinaikos, but according to Danish media he wanted an option to allow him to leave, if he got an offer from a Spanish club. This could not be accepted by the Greeks, who chose Henk ten Cate instead.[23]

Laudrup at a Champions League press conference in 2008.

Spartak Moscow[edit]

On 12 September 2008, it was officially announced that Laudrup signed a one-and-a-half-year contract to manage Spartak Moscow, replacing Stanislav Cherchesov, following his dismissal as manager, after a string of poor results.[24] However, he started on a bad note winning just one of his first four league matches. Laudrup was subsequently sacked on 15 April 2009, after spending only 7 months in charge.[25] This was following Spartak being knocked out at the quarter-final stage in a 3–0 loss to Dinamo Moscow in the Russian Cup. The official statement from Spartak read, "From this point onwards, head coach Michael Laudrup has been relieved of his responsibilities because of unsatisfactory results."[26]

On 22 October 2009, Spanish media announced that Laudrup would be appointed as new manager of Spanish side Atlético Madrid, replacing the short and unsuccessful run of Abel Resino, following Atletico's 4–0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Chelsea, but Laudrup and the club weren't able to agree on terms. The day after, on 23 October, Resino was sacked and Quique Sanchez Flores was appointed as coach as second choice instead of Laudrup.

RCD Mallorca[edit]

In July 2010, Laudrup was appointed manager of RCD Mallorca on a contract that was to run until the end of June 2012. In his first season in Mallorca, Laudrup managed to keep a struggling Mallorca team from relegation, which was suffering from losing many first team players and who was ejected from the Europa League due to a bad financial situation. At the beginning of the 2011–2012 season, on 27 September 2011, Laudrup resigned from his job, following the firing of his assistant, Erik Larsen. Laudrup cited that great frustration with Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, the club's Director of Football, leading to a bad work climate as the main reason for his resignation.[27]

Swansea City[edit]

On 15 June 2012, he was appointed manager of Swansea City on a two-year contract, replacing Brendan Rodgers, following his departure to Liverpool. Laudrup made several new signings after arriving at Liberty Stadium, such as Michu, Chico, Pablo Hernández, Jonathan de Guzmán and Ki Sung-Yueng. His first competitive match as Swansea manager came as an impressive 5–0 away win at Loftus Road versus Queens Park Rangers.[28]

At Swansea City, Alan Tate says that Laudrup was considered to be the best player in training despite being age of 48.[29] He has been commended for his choice of signings, with most of his success being attributed to Michu, who scored 14 goals in 2012 for Swansea, after Laudrup signed him for €2.5 million.[30] On 23 January 2013, Laudrup led Swansea into their first ever major Cup final, after defeating reigning European Champions Chelsea 2–0 on aggregate over two legs in the League Cup semi-finals.[31]

On 7 February 2013, Laudrup appointed former Denmark midfielder Morten Wieghorst as an assistant Swansea manager, after previously signing Wieghorst as a player during when Laudrup was managing Brøndby.[32] Later, Laudrup said that he "certainly" believes that Wieghorst "can be manager" of Swansea, as "he has experience from Scottish football and is familiar with English football".[33] On 24 February 2013, Laudrup said that he had no "ambition to become the manager" of a big club, because he couldn't "have done everything for 10 years" in management and then be fired "after nine months" for not winning any trophies.[34] He also said that it gave him "much more pleasure to see how well" he could do where he didn't "have to win all the time."[35]

On 24 February 2013, Laudrup won his first trophy as Swansea manager, after his side beat Bradford City 5–0 to win the Football League Cup at Wembley.[36] This was also Swansea's first major trophy in their history. After the match he said: "I'm very proud of my team today. I think it was a great performance." He also hailed the win as the best in his managerial career, saying: "As a manager it’s absolutely at the top, winning a trophy for the first time in 100 years."[37]

Following Swansea's 1–0 win over Newcastle United on 2 March 2013[38] and the club moving into 8th position in the top-half of the Premier League table and seemingly safe from relegation with 40 points and 10 games left, Laudrup told that he wanted Swansea to finish eighth. Saying that it would be "incredible" and that "coming eighth [will be] like winning the league" for the club. Because he felt "the first seven spots" were already taken by Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton.[39] On 3 March 2013, though Laudrup had said that his "intention" was "to stay" in south Wales for the next year, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said that the club were in the "process of looking for the next manager" of the club in case Laudrup did choose to leave the club.[40]

On 8 March 2013, Laudrup signed a new contract with Swansea, keeping him at the club until 2015.[41] With reports indicating that Laudrup agreed to a contract with a release clause in the region of £5 million, much like the release clause Brendan Rodgers agreed to when he signed a contract extension at the Liberty Stadium four months before he joined Liverpool.[42] However, on 10 May 2013, Laudrup confirmed that his "intention" was to stay at Swansea "next season", saying that reports he wanted to leave Wales was "pure speculation".[43]

On 4 February 2014 Laudrup was sacked by Swansea only one day after chairman Huw Jenkins dismissed rumours that they had discussed the future of the manager.[44] At the time of the decision to sack Laudrup the team had lost six out of their eight most recent games in the Premier League.[8] For the season, Swansea was in 12th position with 24 points for 24 games.

Lekhwiya[edit]

On 30 June 2014, he became the new manager of Qatar Stars League champions Lekhwiya after signing a one-year deal.[45]

Tactics[edit]

See also: 4-2-3-1

As assistant manager to Morten Olsen, Denmark employed a 4–2–3–1 system with pacey wingers playing the pivotal role in attack. Laudrup learnt from Olsen and used the same tactical style with Brøndby, with the team becoming more attacking and focused on a short passing style. He continued to employ a similar tactical style when he joined Getafe, ushering a new brand of exciting and free-flowing attacking football, to help the club to the Copa del Rey final. However, at Spartak Moscow, he could not adapt his formation and tactics to the Russian game with the team unable to score enough goals per match.

As RCD Mallorca manager, Laudrup inspired a Mallorca team, who were losing a number of key players, from relegation by playing an offensive game. In 2012, Laudrup joined Swansea City as manager, replacing Brendan Rodgers.[46] Under Rodgers, Swansea were known to play a 4–3–3 approach with a lot of focus on passing, where the full-backs pushed up when in possession and the outfield players played a high tempo pressing game. Under Laudrup, the team began employing a 4–2–3–1 formation, becoming more attacking, while retaining the passing and pressing game. He also signed a number of new players, primarily from La Liga, trying to bring the attacking style from Spain to Wales, which saw more goals being scored.[47] Laudrup said: "You can get a lot of quality for a reasonable amount in Spain right now".[48]

Laudrup earned plaudits for maintaining their flowing, attacking brand of football and attractive, passing style of play throughout the season, which saw his side win the League Cup, after beating Bradford City a record 5–0 in the final. "You can't ask players to do things that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are doing, but you can ask the easy things" he said. "Sometimes the easiest things in football, a simple pass five or eight yards, can be the most effective. That, everybody can learn."[49]

Family[edit]

Michael Laudrup is part of a family with three generations of footballers. His uncle is former Brøndby and Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl. He is the son of former Danish national team player Finn Laudrup and Michael's oldest son Mads Laudrup has been the team captain of various Danish youth national teams since January 2005, and his youngest son Andreas Laudrup was selected a part of the under-16 national team in March 2006.[50]

Michael Laudrup has a younger brother, Brian Laudrup, who was also a footballer. Brian Laudrup is the record holder of Danish player of the year awards with 4,[51] and was rated by FIFA as the 5th best player in the world in 1992.[52] Brian Laudrup was in the Euro 92 Team of the Tournament and World Cup 98 Team of the Tournament. Brian was also known for his part in the Rangers squad which won nine consecutive titles in the 1990s. Brian was a part of the trophy-winning Danish national team at UEFA Euro 1992, but Michael did not play in that championship due to differences with the national team coach Richard Møller Nielsen[53] and because he thought that the barring of Yugoslavia for political, rather than football, reasons was not just.[54] In 2004, both the Laudrup brothers were named in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers chosen by Pelé as part of the celebration of FIFA's 100th anniversary.

Laudrup has been married twice. With his first and ex-wife Tina Thunø, he had his elder son Mads. With his second and current spouse Siw Laudrup, he has two children, Andreas and Rebecca.[55]

Politics[edit]

In 2004 Michael Laudrup was one of the founders of CEPOS, a Danish classical liberal/free-market conservative think-tank.[56]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Denmark League Danish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1981 KB 1st Division 14 3 14 3
1982 Brøndby 1st Division 24 15 24 15
1983 14 8 14 8
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1983/84 Lazio Serie A 30 8 5 0 35 8
1984/85 30 1 5 3 35 4
1985/86 Juventus Serie A 29 7 6 2 6 2 41 11
1986/87 20 3 6 1 4 5 30 9
1987/88 28 0 7 2 4 2 39 4
1988/89 26 6 7 2 8 3 41 11
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
1989/90 Barcelona La Liga 32 3 7 2 - 3 1 42 6
1990/91 30 9 5 2 - 7 0 42 11
1991/92 36 13 2 2 - 11 3 49 18
1992/93 37 10 4 4 - 4 0 45 14
1993/94 31 5 1 0 - 6 1 38 6
1994/95 Real Madrid La Liga 33 4 2 1 - 5 2 40 7
1995/96 29 8 0 0 - 7 0 36 8
Japan League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Asia Total
1996 Vissel Kobe Football League 12 5 3 2 - - 15 7
1997 J. League 1 3 0 0 0 6 1 - 9 1
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1997/98 Ajax Eredivisie 21 11 5 2 26 13
Country Denmark 52 26 52 26
Italy 162 25 36 10 22 12 220 47
Spain 228 52 21 11 43 7 292 70
Japan 15 5 3 2 6 1 - 21 8
Netherlands 21 11 5 2 26 13
Total 478 119 60 23 6 1 70 21 614 164

[57]

Denmark national team
Year Apps Goals
1982 3 2
1983 5 7
1984 13 2
1985 6 6
1986 10 1
1987 4 0
1988 9 1
1989 8 4
1990 6 3
1991 0 0
1992 0 0
1993 4 0
1994 8 3
1995 9 5
1996 8 1
1997 2 1
1998 9 1
Total 104 37

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 18 October 2014
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Brøndby Denmark July 2002 June 2006 132 76 31 25 237 119 +118 57.58
Getafe Spain 9 July 2007 June 2008 59 25 15 19 81 70 +11 42.37
Spartak Moscow Russia 12 September 2008 15 April 2009 14 4 4 6 15 17 -2 28.57
Mallorca Spain July 2010 27 September 2011 42 13 9 20 52 67 -15 30.95
Swansea City Wales 15 June 2012 4 February 2014 84 29 24 31 116 105 +11 34.52
Lekhwiya Qatar 1 July 2014 Present 8 6 0 2 17 6 +11 75.00
Total 338 152 83 103 511 384 +127 44.97

Quotes on Laudrup[edit]

  • Romário: "The best player I have ever played with and the 4th best in the history of the game"[19]
  • Raúl: "The best I have ever played with."[18]
  • Zamorano: "Un genio!", "The reason why I make so many goals, is Laudrup."[58]
  • Iniesta: "Who is the best player in history? Laudrup."[59]
  • Messi: "I fully understand why he is considered one of the best players in Barcelona's history and even the world."[60]
  • Cruyff: "One of the most difficult players I have worked with. When he gives 80–90% he is still by far the best, but I want 100%, and he rarely does that."[61]
  • Cruyff (After Real Madrid with Laudrup had won 5–0 over Cruyff's Barcelona): "When Michael plays like a dream, a magic illusion, determined to show his new team his extreme abilities, no one in the world comes anywhere near his level."[62]
  • Cruyff (Cruyff on Laudrup's lack of killer instinct during matches): "Had Michael been born in a poor ghetto in Brazil or Argentina with the ball being his only way out of poverty he would today be recognised as the biggest genius of the game ever. He had all the abilities to reach it but lacked this ghetto-instinct, which could have driven him there."[63]
  • Platini: "One of the biggest talents ever. The best in the world on the training pitch, but never used his talent to its full during matches.[62]
  • Platini: "Michael had everything except for one thing: he wasn't selfish enough."[17]
  • Guardiola: "The best player in the world, I can't believe he hasn't won the title as best player."[citation needed]
  • Beckenbauer: "Pelé was the best in the 60s, Cruyff in the 70s, Maradona in the 80s and Laudrup in the 90s."[62]
  • Roberto Galia: "I have played against Maradona, Platini and Baggio. But the player I saw do the most indescribable things was Michael Laudrup."[64]
  • Clemente: "To me, Michael Laudrup is the most genius player the world has ever seen. He will always be my numero uno. Always."[62]
  • Bakero: "No one has given the club [Barcelona] as much inspiration as Michael. We all look up to him. It is a privilege to have your day enriched by a genius."[62]
  • Koeman: "Michael was possibly the most skilful and elegant player I ever played with. Few could dribble like he could. He could sense when a game was ready to be seized and transformed by a moment of individual brilliance."[65]
  • Stoichkov: "One of the best European players I’ve ever seen. An elegant, old-fashioned playmaker, he did things few other footballers could do."[66]
  • Stoichkov: "From more than hundred goals that I scored I'm sure that over 50 were assisted by Michael. To play with him was extremely easy. We found each other by intuition on the field and found common football language. Look at Ivan Zamorano. Laudrup went there (Real) and Zamorano is a goalscorer. Sometimes I envy Ivan for the passes he receives. Passes on foot after you accelerated. Few people understand football like the Danish player. He can only be comprised with Maradona, Schuster or Roberto Baggio. They make things easy and find the right solutions. For them is simple, for the opponent – unthinkable. Phenomenal! His only problem is his character. He is emotional and terribly reserved. This affects him a lot, because he takes everything personally – no matter if someone tells him something or decision that he does not agree. His relations with Cruyff were delicate because he couldn't take the critics. I listen to him but I don't care that much. For Michael this was fatal. He couldn't take it anymore so he left without a word."[67]
  • Brian Laudrup: "My brother started as an attacker but became an elegant attacking midfielder, perhaps the most complete there has ever been. His vision, speed of thought and passing were on a different level; he always knew what was going to happen before anybody else did. If anyone had a 'football brain', it was him."[68]
  • Ferrer: "Few people made me enjoy the game as much as Michael. Maybe he didn’t get the media recognition he deserved, but he was so classy and a real thinker. A master of the blind pass and impossible through-balls and I will never forget his 'spoon' pass in a game against Osasuna. He lifted the ball right over the defence and Romario touched it in first time."[69]
  • Capello (After the 4–0 win of Milan against Barcelona in the 1994 CL final): "Laudrup was the guy I feared but Cruyff left him out, and that was his mistake."[70]
  • Figo: "I think maybe Laudrup was the best player I ever played against."[71]
  • Mourinho: "He was phenomenal in Barcelona. He was a fantastic player whom I would love to have on my team today."[72]
  • Stoichkov: "Laudrup was the greatest"[73]
  • Alan Tate: "He is still the best player in training at 48 years."[74]
  • Ian Rush: "He probably had the most individual skill I've seen. He was an incredible player."[75]
  • John Toshack: "To me he was the best player of his generation and he is a lot like Cruyff both as a player and a manager"[76]

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Juventus
Barcelona
Real Madrid
Ajax
Denmark

Manager[edit]

Brøndby
Swansea City

Individual[edit]

Player
Manager
  • Danish Manager of the Year (2): 2002–03, 2004–05
  • Qatar Stars League Manager of the Month (1): August 2014

Literature[edit]

  • (Italian) Bruno Bernardi, "Michael Laudrup", Italy, 1986
  • (Danish) Flemming Nielsen and Vagn Nielsen, "Fodboldkunstneren Michael Laudrup : rundt om en stjerne", Denmark, 1986
  • (Danish) Michael Laudrup, "Mod nye mål", Denmark, 1989, ISBN 87-559-0848-9
  • (Danish) Jakob Kvist, "Ambassadøren – en bog om Michael Laudrup", Denmark, 1996 (4th edition, 2001), ISBN 87-583-1285-4
  • (Danish) Palle "Banks" Jørgensen, "Landsholdenes 2198 profiler", Danmark, 2004, ISBN 87-89564-04-9

Films[edit]

  • (Danish) Jørgen Leth, "Michael Laudrup – en fodboldspiller", Denmark, 1993

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gaarskjær, Jesper (2010). Barça: Historien om FC Barcelona. Sheffield: Gyldendal. p. 135. ISBN 978-87-02-08764-2. 
  2. ^ Michael Laudrup started his last 27 matches as captain, while he had taken over the armband in the 1 June 1994 1–2 loss to Norway, when then captain Lars Olsen was substituted.
  3. ^ IFHOC, The Gala in Barcelona, 1 February 1999
  4. ^ UEFA.com, Golden Players take center stage, 29 November 2003.
  5. ^ Michael Laudrup bedste spiller gennem tiderne, DBU.dk, 13 November 2006
  6. ^ "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Laudrup appointed Swansea City manager
  8. ^ a b "Swansea sack Michael Laudrup and place Garry Monk in charge". BBC Sport. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  9. ^ (Danish) Laudrup, Michael at Peders Fodboldstatistik
  10. ^ Kvist (2001), p. 36
  11. ^ a b Sky Sports Special – Football's Greatest: Michael Laudrup.
  12. ^ "Banks" Jørgensen (2004), p. 214
  13. ^ "The best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". Marca.com. 12 April 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.fyens.dk/article/90102:Sport--Laudrup-var-registreret-i-bosnisk-klub-SNYD--Det-hollandske-skattevaesen-foeler-sig-snydt-i-forbindelse-med-Michael-Laudrups-skifte-til-Ajax
  15. ^ http://lyngby-boldklub.dk/Nyheder/Seneste_nyt/Trupperne_til_Oldboys_Landspokalfinalen/
  16. ^ "Historien om Michael Laudrups farvel", Politiken, 26 November 1990, Section:Sport, p.2
  17. ^ a b Frits Ahlstrøm, Laudrup is greatest Dane, UEFA, 29 March 2004
  18. ^ a b "Kongesønnens bøn: Kom til Madrid", Ekstra Bladet, 16 April 2006
  19. ^ a b "Romarios eftermæle". Jyllands-Posten. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  20. ^ Laudrup leaving Brondby, Fox Sports, 22 May 2006
  21. ^ "Laudrup: Jeg stopper i Getafe" (in Danish). Politiken. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2008. 
  22. ^ "Getafe owner reveals Barcelona wanted Laudrup before Guardiola". FourFourTwo.com.au. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Grækere afviste Laudrups kattelem" (in Danish). Politiken. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008. 
  24. ^ Spartak turn to Laudrup, The Guardian, 12 September 2008
  25. ^ Michael Laudrup sacked by Spartak Moscow, The Telegraph, 16 April 2009
  26. ^ Spartak Moscow fires coach Michael Laudrup, CBC News, 16 April 2009
  27. ^ "Uudholdeligt arbejdsklima" (in Danish). Bold.dk. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  28. ^ "Swansea name Laudrup as manager". Premierleague.com (Premier League). 15 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Exclusive – Tate: Laudrup is the best player in training at Swansea". TalkSport. 19 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  30. ^ "The three amigos: Why La Liga imports". Mirror Football. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Swansea 0–0 Chelsea (2–0)". BBC Sport. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "Morten Wieghorst appointed to Swansea City role". BBC Sport. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "Morten Wieghorst could be next Swansea City manager – Laudrup". Sky Sports. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  34. ^ Tongue, Steve (24 February 2013). "Michael Laudrup says no to Chelsea and Real Madrid". London: The Independent. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  35. ^ "Laudrup: I'm not desperate to manage a bigger club". Sky Sports. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  36. ^ Hunter, Andy (25 February 2013). "Nathan Dyer double helps Swansea ruin Bradford's Capital One Cup dream". Guardian UK (London). Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  37. ^ "Laudrup hails greatest managerial achievement". London: Daily Mail. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  38. ^ "Swansea 1–0 Newcastle – Report". BBC Sport. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "Swansea boss Michael Laudrup eyes 'incredible' league finish". BBC Sport. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  40. ^ "Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins preparing for life after Michael Laudrup". Sky Sports. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  41. ^ "Michael Laudrup signs fresh Swansea deal". BBC Sport. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  42. ^ Al-Samarrai, Riath (8 March 2013). "Danish delight for Swansea as Laudrup signs one-year contract extension". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  43. ^ "Swansea manager Michael Laudrup dismisses Everton speculation". SkySports. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  44. ^ "Laudrup sacked! Dane leaves Swansea after crisis meeting with chairman Jenkins". Daily Mail. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  45. ^ "Michael Laudrup to coach the Qatari champions". Qatar Stars League. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  46. ^ "Tactical analysis: How have Swansea evolved under Laudrup?". Think Football. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  47. ^ "Tactical Analysis: Laudrup’s Swansea to Brendan Rodgers’?". Just Football. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  48. ^ "Swansea's Michael Laudrup is the perfect manager for Chelsea". talkSPORT. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  49. ^ "Michael Laudrup's Swansea style". ESPN Blog. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  50. ^ Thomas Møller Johansen, "Laudrup d. V", B.T. article, 11 March 2006
  51. ^ [1]
  52. ^ [2]
  53. ^ Kvist (2001), p. 155
  54. ^ . Post Festum http://www.arhiva.serbia.gov.rs/news/2000-07/04/19747.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ "Michael Laudrup's daughter Rebecca gives thumbs up to Swansea shopping". South Wales. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  56. ^ "Founders" (in Danish). CEPOs. 
  57. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Michael Laudrup – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. 
  58. ^ "Laudrup – Et fodbolddynasti",Christian Mohr Boisen, ISBN 978-87-11-31387-9
  59. ^ "Iniesta: "El mejor jugador de la historia ha sido Laudrup"" (in Spanish). ElConfidecial.com. 1 July 2010. 
  60. ^ "Messi: Laudrup imponerede mig" (in Danish). TV2.dk. 16 March 2009. 
  61. ^ "Laudrup – Et fodbolddynasti",Christian Mohr Boisen,ISBN 978-87-11-31387-9
  62. ^ a b c d e "Laudrup – Et fodbolddynasti", Christian Mohr Boisen, ISBN 978-87-11-31387-9
  63. ^ Ekstra Bladet 27. august 1998
  64. ^ (in Italian). Goal.com http://www.goal.com/it/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=584658.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  65. ^ "Ronald Koeman Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 
  66. ^ "Hristo Stoichkov Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 
  67. ^ "My Autobiography, Hristo Stoichkov" (in Spanish). The 8cho. 
  68. ^ "Brian Laudrup Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 
  69. ^ "Albert Ferrer Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 
  70. ^ ABC(spanish newspaper), 20 May 1994
  71. ^ "Figo casts an eye to the future". FIFA.com. 13 March 2006. 
  72. ^ http://sporten.tv2.dk/fodbold/article.php/id-32478811:mourinho-laudrup-er-f%C3%A6nomenal.html
  73. ^ "Stoichkov: Bullshit med Romario" (in Danish). Tipsbladet. 12 November 2010. 
  74. ^ "Tate: Laudrup is the best player in training at Swansea.". 20 August 2012. 
  75. ^ "Ian Rush backs old friend Michael Laudrup to keep Swansea up". 30 October 2012. 
  76. ^ "Legende: Real arbejder på Laudrup". 26 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Lars Olsen
Denmark captain
1994-1998
Succeeded by
Peter Schmeichel