I Almost Missed, and Never Missed Michael Laudrup

I became a soccer fan in 1998. My elder brother just kept preaching to me and tried to convert me shamelessly - he succeeded, finally. My first impression of Michael Laudrup at World Cup 98, is his magical pass to Sand in 1/8 Final between Denmark and Nigeria.

His name in Chinese sounds noble, mysterious but also difficult to remember, so I forgot about this old boy easily. Anyway, the shining star at that time is Ronaldo, the wonder boy is Michael Owen, and the winner is Zidane.

I met him again two years ago, that is 18 years later since 1998! Thiery Henry’s tweet, regarding a youtube video lasting 90 minutes, of Michael Laudrup’s passing compilations, took me there.

After I watched the video I realized that I almost missed a genius soccer player that I would love most! I began to watch his deep passes every Sunday afternoon and try to practice them in the evening games, but only failed again and again. Very strangely, I found Michael Laudrup’s play style more attractive to me than Messi and Ronaldo - I mean, Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi’s skill is better than anyone else in history without any doubt, but Laudrup still steals my time at soccer more than others.

Maybe 90 mins are too long for you. Actually, this video lasts about 10 minutes would be sufficient for you to get a first impression of this Danish.

Messi was too good that his repeatedly breakthrough, passing and shooting became boring to me, but for Laudrup, his vision, his beautiful one-touch pass, precise long pass, his dribbling, especially his deep passes will always give you surprise and joy, that’s something you cannot experience while Messi play. I guess that’s why I love Laudrup more than others.

Both Romario at Barcelona and Raul at Real Madrid said that Michael Laudrup is the best player they have ever played with. Barcelona beats Real Madrid 5:0 while Laudrup in their team and Real Madrid beats Barcelona 5:0 after Laudrup wears their white jersey of number 10. Laudrup might not be the only reason, but his reputation among soccer fans of these two clubs proved something. It’s very rare for a man that played in these two teams can be loved by both sides. You know Luis Figo, right?😅

It’s not easy to track Laudrup’s growth these days. These books might be of some help, but unfortunately there are Danish Edition only.

His career in Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Vissel Kobe(I have to admit that Japanese guys really did a great job. They got so many Old Boys to play in J league, which I cannot expect in China), Ajax didn’t last that long, as he retired at age 34. But I always enjoy his compilations more than others, because there is some kind of beauty, some kind of elegance will always inspire me, touch me and teach me. I begin to find that a single pass that can make the complex situation super clear and simple, is the greatest joy that one can have while play soccer. However, only you have played soccer long enough you will be able to recognize this and appreciate this. Young boys seek for their own glory, they prefer to dribble and dribble, until they lose the ball or get a hat-trick.

When I watch Laudrup’ video with my son together and try to explain how beautiful those passes are, he has no idea what I am talking about. After a while I realized that I never missed Laudrup, only when the time was fulfilled and I am able to understand Laudrup, I met him and learned from him.

And maybe 18 years later, my son will meet Michael Laudrup again and shout to me, ‘Hey Daddy! I almost missed a genius player! His name is Michael Laudrup!’

And yes, he will almost miss but never miss Michael Laudrup, too.