Brian Laudrup is one of the greatest Danish footballers of all time. Over his brilliant career, Brian played 14 seasons for 9 different clubs in 6 countries, won 6 league championships, and was named best Danish player of the year in 1989, 1992, 1995 and in 1997.
Laudrup was born in Vienna, Austria on February 22, 1969. By the age of five, Brian was already learning the game of football, and had joined a local Danish team by the age of 8. At the age of 17, the Danish team Brøndby decided to give Laudrup a shot, and he made his debut in a league match versus FC Porto in 1986. At the time Ebbe Skovdahl, Laudrup’s uncle, managed Brøndby. During Laudrup's two years with the team, Brøndby won the Danish League championship both years. In 1989, Laudrup was sold to Bayer Uerdingen, which sold him to Bayern Munich a year later. Laudrup's transfer fee to Bayern Munich was, at that time, the largest transfer fee in the history of the German leagues.
Laudrup's appeal soon spread beyond Denmark and Germany. In 1992, Laudrup signed with the Italian serie A team AC Fiorentina, and played with the likes of Stefan Effenberg and Gabriel Batistuta. However, AC Fiorentina had a bad season, and were relagated, much to the anger of their fans. During their last game, Laudrup had to be taken away from the stadium in the trunk of a car. Instead of returning to AC Fiorentina, he arranged to be loaned to AC Milan at the beginning of the 1993 season. Laudrup was still uncomfortable playing in Italy, and lost his motivation to play within the first few games. He was transferred to Glasgow Rangers after playing only 9 matches for Milan.
Rangers turned out to be a perfect home for Brian Laudrup. During his first match, Laudrup racked up two assists in a league match versus Motherwell. The club got off to a slow start in 1994, but the fans were supportive of the team, which was a drastic change from Laudrup's Italian experience. Rangers went on to win the Scottish League, and Laudrup won the Scottish player of the year award, the first foreign-born player to do so. Over his years with Rangers, he would win two more league championships, a Scottish Cup in 1996, and a Scottish League Cup in 1997.
After four years with Rangers, Laudrup left the team for English Premier team Chelsea. He played five full games for the club, and came in as a substitute in two. However, Chelsea was not the place for Laudrup, and he decided to return home to Denmark, this time playing for F.C. Copenhagen. He found himself getting less and less time on the pitch, mostly due to the effects of age and lingering injuries. After less than a year, he moved on again, this time to the prominent Dutch team Ajax. He played well, scoring 15 goals over 38 matches. However, injuries caught up with Laurdup, and he went down with a Achilles tendon he had been playing with for two years. Instead of trying to regain his lost form, which was unlikely, Laudrup announced his retirement from professional football on May 18, 2000.
"The last six months it's been really bad. I've been taking all sorts of tablets and trying all sorts of treatments but unfortunately the problem was not to go away. I've been thinking about an operation but specialists in Holland and Denmark couldn't give me any guarantees that the problem would be solved so I thought it was about time to call it a day."
- Brian Laudrup to BBC Scotland May 18, 2000
Laudrup is currently spending his retirement from football doing what he loves best, playing football. He is currently playing in the Danish fifth division just for fun. Rayyan Sports Club, a football club from Qatar, has tried to lure Laurdup out of retirement to no avail. Laudrup is married to Mette, and together they have two children: Nikolai and Rasmine. They live in Denmark. He has an arguably better older brother, Michael Laudrup.
86-89 Brøndby 68 18
89-90 Bayer Uerdingen 34 6
90-91 Bayern Munich 33 9
91-92 Bayern Munich 11 2
92-93 AC Fiorentina 31 5
93-94 AC Milan 9 1
94-95 Glasgow Rangers 38 13
95-96 Glasgow Rangers 34 7
96-97 Glasgow Rangers 44 20
97-98 Glasgow Rangers 17 4
98-99 Chelsea 11 1
98-99 F.C. Copenhagen 12 2
99-00 Ajax 38 15
Ack! American writing about football? Noooo!
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