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Brian Laudrup (born February 22, 1969 in Vienna, Austria) is a former Danish professional football (soccer) player, who won the 1992 European Football Championship (Euro 1992) with the Denmark national team, and he was a vital part of the Rangers FC team which dominated the Scottish Premier League in the 1990s. Brian Laudrup was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers at the FIFA 100 ceremony in March 2004, alongside his equally famous older brother Michael Laudrup.

Biography

Brian Laudrup was born into a football family with father Finn Laudrup, a former Danish national player, and brother Michael also very keen on the sport. He started his career in his native Denmark with Brøndby IF where he debuted aged 18 for the Danish national team on November 18, 1987 in a 0-1 defeat to West Germany. Brian Laudrup missed out on the Euro 1988, but from February 1989 Brian Laudrup became a mainstay, and impressed so much for both club and country, that he won a transfer to Germany with Uerdingen, and was named Danish Player of the Year in 1989. After only one season with Uerdingen he was bought by Bayern Munich for £2m in 1990.

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1992 European Champion

In 1992, Brian Laudrup travelled with the Danish national team to the Euro 1992 in Sweden, and in a strictly defensive strategy, Brian Laudrup was one of the few attacking players. Though he did not score a single goal in the competition, his skill and speed was an important part of the Danish team that went on to win the tournament, and Laudrup was voted a shared 5th in the 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year poll, with fellow Dane Peter Schmeichel, though he had the edge over Schmeichel in the domestic polls, where Laudrup won his second Danish Player of the Year award in 1992.

His reputation began to grow and Brian Laudrup fulfilled his lifelong ambition when he moved to Serie A team Fiorentina. However, his time in Italy was both unhappy and unsuccessful and after the Italian team were relegated he felt the fury of the tifosi as he was smuggled out from the stadium in the trunk of a car. He was loaned to AC Milan for the 1993 to 1994 season, which only saw him play a handful of matches throughout the season, and with the Danish national team things did not look brighter as they failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Scottish success

In July 1994, Laudrup was offered an escape route from Italy when he was approached by Walter Smith of Rangers FC, and he signed in a £2.3m deal. His time in Scotland was filled with success as he helped Rangers complete their nine-in-a-row sweep of the Scottish Premier League and was awarded Danish Player of the Year twice, giving him a record four wins of the prestigious award. Laudrup's time with Rangers was a massive success where the fans still consider him to be the greatest ever foreign player to have played for the club. Laudrup took part in a disappointing Euro 1996 for Denmark, with the only positive note for the team being his three goals in as many games before the team was eliminated in the preliminary group stage.

1998 World Cup

He took part in his only World Cup campaign when he played the 1998 FIFA World Cup, with a Denmark team he ranks even higher than the Euro 1992 winning side. Alongside Peter Schmeichel and brother Michael Laudrup, Brian shone and saw Denmark through to the quarter finals with a goal in the 4-1 surprise thrashing of Nigeria in the first knock-out round. The quarter-finals would be his last game for the Denmark team, when they were defeated 2-3 by the later runners-up Brazil, despite Brian Laudrup scoring on a volley to the top near corner of the goal to level the game at 2-2. After the tournament, the 29-year old Brian Laudrup decided to end his national team career at the top, having played in 82 matches, scoring 21 goals over the course of eleven years.

He joined Chelsea in 1998 though he did not play many games and had a brief spell at FC Copenhagen, where he was unceremoniously booed by fans from his former team Brøndby, as well as supporters of many other clubs who did not take it lightly that "the son of the nation" would turn out for a club everybody loved to hate. Family problems resulted in Laudrup joining Ajax Amsterdam for one season from 1999 to 2000, taking over from Michael who had retired at Ajax one year earlier. Injury forced Brian Laudrup to retire from top-level football at 31 years of age, after one of the most successful careers in Danish football.

Brian Laudrup is now a Champions League commentator and pundit at Danish TV3+ with Peter Schmeichel and former Danish national player Preben Elkjær Larsen. He is also involved with the so-called "Laudrup & Høgh ProCamp", a youth football camp, co-coached with former national team goalkeeper Lars Høgh. In his spare time he plays for Lyngby Boldklub's Old Boys side alongside Michael Laudrup.

Honours

Winner

  • Danish Superliga: 1987 and 1988, with Brøndby IF
  • Danish Player of the Year: 1989, 1992, 1995, and 1997
  • Euro 1992, with Denmark
  • Serie A: 1993/94, with AC Milan
  • Scottish Premier League: 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, with Rangers FC
  • Scottish Cup: 1995/96, with Rangers
  • Scottish League Cup: 1996/97, with Rangers

Runner-up

  • 5th, 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year
Scottish Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
1995
Scottish Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
1997
Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year
1995

 

Comments

Brian is the best!

superb player, should never have left when he did, broke the hearts of many a rangers fan!!

Absolute genius. Greatest Ranger along with Gascoigne at peak in my time! Will be forever grateful for the memories! Thank you!!!!

a pure class player a rangers legend and the greatest player ever wore a rangers shirt


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