- Birthplace: Frederiksberg, Denmark
- Previous Clubs: Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow, Mallorca
- Honours: English League Cup: 2013; Danish Superliga: 2005; Danish Cup 2003, 2005; Danish Super Cup: 2002, 2005
Michael Laudrup is a Danish legend, widely considered the country's greatest-ever footballer, and followed his outstanding playing career by moving into management.
Michael Laudrup has a new challenge
During his playing days, Laudrup spent time with such heavyweights as Juventus, Lazio, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Ajax. Among many honours, he claimed four straight La Liga titles with Barca before moving to rivals Real and winning a fifth consecutive league crown.
On the international stage, he won 104 caps for Denmark, featuring in five major tournaments. In 1998 he called time on his international playing career, although he would soon return in a coaching capacity.
In 2000, he was appointed as assistant to Morten Olsen. The pair impressed at the helm, instilling an exciting brand of football. Together they led the team to the knockout stage of the 2002 World Cup.
After the tournament, Laudrup took up his first managerial role. He was put in charge of Brondby, a club he had represented during his early playing career. He injected youth into the squad and implemented a similar brand of football to that demonstrated during his time as No. 2 with Denmark. His methods soon reaped rewards, as he guided Brondby to the Danish Superliga, the Danish Cup (twice) and the Danish Super Cup (also twice). He left in 2006 and a year later, following reported interest from several clubs, took up a role in Spain with Getafe.
At Getafe, Laudrup comfortably staved off relegation and also led his new side to the Copa del Rey final, losing to Valencia. They also reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, only to be knocked out by Bayern Munich. He then spent a brief spell in charge of Spartak Moscow before returning to Spain once more, this time with Real Mallorca. Despite financial strife, Laudrup's Mallorca avoided the drop. He parted company with the team in September 2011, before being targeted by Swansea as Brendan Rodgers' replacement and signing a two-year contract in June 2012.
Laudrup's first season was an unparallelled success as a combination of shrewd signings -- notably Michu from Rayo Vallecano -- and first-class management from the Dane inspired Swansea to a ninth-placed finish and, more importantly, their first ever major trophy as Bradford were beaten 4-0 in the 2013 Capital One Cup final.
He couldn't continue the club's success in his second season in South Wales, however, and with the club poised precariously just above the relegation zone, Swansea sacked him on Feb. 4 2014.
Strengths: The Dane has a gret eye for a bargain and has also often shown willingness to give youth a chance.
Weaknesses: Brondby aside, he has yet to enjoy something approaching a prolonged period in charge of a club.
Career high: Delivering Swansea their first ever major trophy, the Capital One Cup.
Career low: Being sacked by Spartak Moscow after amassing four points from their opening four matches of the season.
Tactics: Tends to employ a tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation, utilising pacey wingers and a short passing game.
Quotes: "As a manager it's absolutely at the top, winning a trophy for the first time in 100 years. The first trophy is always special, and now next year in Europe... it's a nice experience." Laudrup reflects on Swansea's 2013 League Cup triumph at Wembley.
Trivia: When in charge of Brondby, he made John "Faxe" Jensen his assistant coach, having played alongside him in the Danish national team.