Michael Laudrup (born 15 June 1964) is a retired Danish footballer and the current manager of Qatar Stars League club Al Rayyan. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation by many pundits. He is the older brother of fellow retired footballer Brian Laudrup.
During his playing career, Laudrup won league titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, playing mainly as an attacking midfielder, although he was also capable of playing in other offensive positions. A world class playmaker, he was a member of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team" at Barcelona, where he won nine trophies, including four successive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994 and the European Cup in 1992. Laudrup moved to arch rivals Real Madrid in 1994, with whom he won his fifth La Liga title in a row.
Laudrup made his debut for the Denmark national football team on his 18th birthday in 1982, and scored 37 goals in 104 appearances. He starred in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and from November 1994, he captained Denmark for a total of 28 matches, including the victorious 1995 Confederations Cup tournament. He played alongside his brother Brian in the Denmark team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and retired as an active player after the tournament.
In 1999, he was voted the Best Foreign Player in Spanish Football over the preceding 25-year period 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. He was officially named the best Danish footballer of all time by the Danish Football Association (DBU) in November 2006. He was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players at a FIFA awards ceremony in 2004. In April 2013, he was named by Marca in the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". He is by some considered the greatest Scandinavian footballer ever, ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
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 received plaudits. On 15 June 2012, Laudrup was appointed the manager of Premier League club Swansea City, signing a two-year contract. In his first season in south Wales, he 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.Close