Quotes on: Michael Laudrup

For my second post in the series of articles that compile the best quotes on the greatest footballers form all corners of the internet, I have chosen the man I think is the greatest passer in the history of the game, and quite possibly the most under-rated player ever. Michael Laudrup had vision unlike anything I have ever seen, and nobody else in the history of the game has been able to play defense-splitting passes with the ruthless efficiency and machine-like regularity as he did. And I am not surprised that so many of his team-mates, opponents and managers have been vocal in their admiration for his skill and intelligence. So, without further ado, here is what the footballing community has had to say about Michael Laudrup.

Before we begin, you could think of worse ways to spend your time than watching endlessly watchable highlights of Laudrup’s career.

“Probably the best player I have ever played with. This is a guy who has played in one of the best Barcelona teams ever [ . . . ] and he played in one of the best Madrid teams ever. Won everything that football has to offer. When you talk to Platini about him, he says, ‘Michael Laudrup is the best player I’ve ever played with.’ Then you know he has a little bit of pedigree.” — Peter Schmeichel

” [ . . . ] probably one of the best players the world has ever seen.” — Peter Schmeichel

“He was unbelievable. What he could do with a football, the way he would see passes [ . . . ] his passing, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.” — Peter Schmeichel

“I think [ . . . ] people don’t quite realize how good he was. He was absolutely unbelievable. He was a great dribbler, but he also spotted things. He saw things that nobody else saw.” — Jan Molby

“When he was on the ball, he would light up the game.” — Jorge Valdano

“No one else had that level of creativity” — Jorge Valdano

“The best player I have ever played with and the 4th best in the history of the game” — Romario

“The best I have ever played with.” — Raul

“Who is the best player in history? Laudrup.” — Andres Iniesta

“I fully understand why he is considered one of the best players in Barcelonas history and even the world.” — Lionel Messi

“When Michael plays like a dream, a magic illusion, determined to show his new team his extreme abilities, no one in the world comes anywhere near his level.” — Johan Cruyff (After Real Madrid with Laudrup had won 5–0 over Cruyff’s Barcelona)

“Had Michael been born in a poor ghetto in Brazil or Argentina with the ball being his only way out of poverty he would today be recognised as the biggest genius of the game ever. He had all the abilities to reach it but lacked this ghetto-instinct, which could have driven him there.” — Johan Cruyff

“One of the biggest talents ever. The best in the world on the training pitch, but never used his talent to its full during matches. — Michel Platini

“Michael had everything except for one thing: he wasn’t selfish enough.” — Michel Platini

“The best player in the world, I can’t believe he hasn’t won the title as best player.” — Josep Guardiola

“In the 1960s, the best player was Pele; in the 1970s, it was Cruyff; in the 1980s, it was Maradona; and in the 1990s, it’s Laudrup.” — Franz Beckenbauer

“Michael was possibly the most skilful and elegant player I ever played with. Few could dribble like he could. He could sense when a game was ready to be seized and transformed by a moment of individual brilliance.” — Ronald Koeman

“Few could dribble like he could.” — Ronaldo Koeman

One of the best European players I’ve ever seen. An elegant, old-fashioned playmaker, he did things few other footballers could do.” — Hristo Stoichkov

“From more than hundred goals that I scored I’m sure that over 50 were assisted by Michael. To play with him was extremely easy. We found each other by intuition on the field and found common football language. Look at Ivan Zamorano. Laudrup went there (Real) and Zamorano is a goalscorer. Sometimes I envy Ivan for the passes he receives. Passes on foot after you accelerated. Few people understand football like the Danish player. He can only be comprised with Maradona, Schuster or Roberto Baggio. They make things easy and find the right solutions. For them is simple, for the opponent – unthinkable. Phenomenal!” — Hristo Stoichkov

“He was phenomenal in Barcelona. He was a fantastic player whom I would love to have on my team today.” — Jose Mourinho

“My brother started as an attacker but became an elegant attacking midfielder, perhaps the most complete there has ever been. His vision, speed of thought and passing were on a different level; he always knew what was going to happen before anybody else did. If anyone had a ‘football brain’, it was him.” — Brian Laudrup

“I always say that Laudrup had three eyes, not two like everyone else. As a forward, I had to be aware all the time, because he could make you a chance out of nothing and you had to be prepared for that moment. Michael was a magician and one of the greatest players ever. He was amazing in one-on-ones too.” — Ivan Zamorano

“Un genio!”, “The reason why I make so many goals, is Laudrup.”  — Ivan Zamorano

“I have played against Maradona, Platini and Baggio. But the player I saw do the most indescribable things was Michael Laudrup.” — Roberto Galia

“To me, Michael Laudrup is the most genius player the world has ever seen. He will always be my numero uno. Always.” — Clemente

“No one has given the club [Barcelona] as much inspiration as Michael. We all look up to him. It is a privilege to have your day enriched by a genius.” — Jose Mari Bakero

“Few people made me enjoy the game as much as Michael. Maybe he didn’t get the media recognition he deserved, but he was so classy and a real thinker. A master of the blind pass and impossible through-balls and I will never forget his ‘spoon’ pass in a game against Osasuna. He lifted the ball right over the defence and Romario touched it in first time.” — Albert Ferrer

Watch that beautiful assist here:

“Laudrup was the guy I feared but Cruyff left him out, and that was his mistake.” — Fabio Capello (After the 4–0 win of Milan against Barcelona in the 1994 CL final)

“I think maybe Laudrup was the best player I ever played against.” — Luis Figo

“He probably had the most individual skill I’ve seen. He was an incredible player.” — Ian Rush

“To me he was the best player of his generation and he is a lot like Cruyff both as a player and a manager”  — John Toshack

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