It has been an amazing first season for the new Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who created history by winning the League Cup, Swansea’s first major trophy. However the genius Dane has had a lot of history of his own as a player.
Let’s turn the clock back to June 15 1964, where a young Michael was born in the suburbs of Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. Michael was always destined to play football as he was born into a football family. Michael’s father was Finn Laudrup, who was an old Danish football legend. His uncle Ebbe Skovdahl played for the Danish national team; as well as his four-year younger brother, Brian Laudrup, the former Glasgow Rangers legend. Michael himself has two sons, Mads and Andreas, who both also play as professionals today.
As a young boy, Michael started playing football in his father’s childhood club “Vanløse” on the outskirts of Copenhagen. When his father then became player/coach of one of the biggest Danish teams, Brøndby, in 1973, the whole family had to move with him and both Michael and his brother Brian started playing for the club as well. During a documentary about his life, Michael revealed that despite being born into a football family, there was never any pressure from his father:
“Of course he helped us, when we started playing football, but he has never been a father who stood outside the pitch shouting ‘DO THIS’ and ‘DO THAT’”.
In 1983, the defending champions of Serie A, Juventus, bought Michael for a Danish record fee of around $1 million. Juventus were lucky to get the young Dane as he already was due to sign for Liverpool on a three-year contract. Liverpool decided to make a last minute change, making the contract to four years, something which disrupted Laudrup’s decision:
“I think Liverpool at that time were one of the top three teams in Europe. So they thought that this young Dane would call them back and say ‘Of course I will come’, but I didn’t, and two weeks later I signed for Juventus.”
Unfortunately for Michael, due to the Italian Serie A restriction of having a maximum of only two foreign players in each team and because Juventus already had two players such as Zbigniew Boniek and Michel Platini, Michael had to be transferred to newly promoted Lazio for a season loan deal — something which Laudrup had not been informed about before signing for Juventus.