Denmark is known for a lot of different things. The head office of the great beer Carlsberg is in Copenhagen. The country is also home to Lego, one of the world’s most popular toys. Hygge became famous worldwide in the middle of the 2010s, and people changed their lives to fit with it.
But there may be one person, Michael Laudrup, who is more famous than all three of these Danish icons. Michael Laudrup isn’t well-known outside of football, and even some football fans don’t know much about him. It makes Carlsberg and Lego more prominent around the world.
At least he can say he is better known than Hygge.
Even without the jokes, Laudrup is one of the best football players and a symbol of the 1990s. People have said that Laudrup is the “greatest midfielder no one remembers” from his time. When people talk about the best players of the 1990s, the name of the man who played for Ajax, Barcelona, and Real Madrid is often left off the list.
Michael Laudrup’s early career
Michael Laudrup’s career began at Kjbenhavns Boldklub, where he had been a member of the team’s youth academy. The attacking midfielder’s professional career started in 1981, and he didn’t stay in one place for long. Michael Laudrup joined Brndby in 1982 but only played there for one season. The young man’s rise, on the other hand, was not steady. He makes 24 goals in 38 games for Brndby, which got the attention of teams from all over Europe.
A lot of the first professional football players from Denmark went to Italy. Denmark didn’t have a professional football league until the late 1970s, when Carlsberg put pressure on the government, and the country wanted to do better on the international level. Because Danish players are famous in Italy, it made sense for Laudrup to join Juventus in 1983.
Before playing for the Bianconeri, Laudrup won the Danish Player of the Year award, which solidified his position as the best player in Denmark. In the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool was the best English team, so they tried to sign Laudrup from Brndby. But when the club on Merseyside offered him a four-year deal, Laudrup chose the three-year offer from Juventus.
Laudrup defects to Real Madrid
Real Madrid bought the midfielder for £8.64 million and then won La Liga in 1994-95. Critics said Laudrup wanted to get back at Cruyff, but the truth was that Los Blancos wanted to stop Barcelona from being the best team. Laudrup was excited about the project.
Michael Laudrup spent two years in the capital, but in 1996, he moved to Japan to play for the second-tier team Vissel Kobe. Even though he was in his early 30s, Laudrup left Europe and the high level of football there. Laudrup’s time in Japan was short because Ajax bought him for £6.75m in 1997. It was the last time the skilled midfielder would play. The Dutch Eredivisie title is won when a team scores 11 goals in 21 league games.
Barcelona and Cryuff
Laudrup made a name for himself at Juventus as a quick and intelligent attacking midfielder, but his next job put him on the map. In 1989, Johan Cruyff brought Laudrup to Barcelona to be the team’s star player.
Laudrup was the kind of creative player that Cruyff always wanted to have on his team. He was the Danish version of Cruyff and could turn a game on its head in seconds. Barcelona paid Laudrup £2.70 million to play for them, but the results didn’t come immediately. That season, Barcelona came in third in La Liga, 11 points behind Real Madrid. The Blaugrana did succeed in the Copa del Rey, which has become a trophy that stands for them.
On Cruyff’s team, the Dane did very well. Laudrup played 224 games for the Blaugrana, scored 54 goals, and had 12 assists. Laudrup’s number of assists may have been low, but he didn’t always make the last pass. The access set up the previous ball.
Under Cruyff, Barcelona’s best time was when Laudrup helped them win four straight La Liga titles. Throughout four seasons, the team won the Copa del Rey, two Supercopas de Espaa, the European Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup. Even though Pep Guardiola and his team won almost every game in the 2010s, Barcelona’s success under Cruyff from 1990 to 1994 was better in many ways.