Birthday boy Michael Laudrup appointed Swansea manager
Michael Laudrup has been appointed as the new Swansea manager on a two-year deal, replacing Brendan Rodgers at the Liberty Stadium.
Former Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid star Laudrup has double reason to celebrate as it is also his 48th birthday today.
The Dane will bring a wealth of top-level European experience to South Wales, having spent time in charge of Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Mallorca since moving into management in 2002.
Following a successful four-year spell at Brondy, with the highlight being a league and cup double in 2005, Laudrup moved to Spain for the 2007-2008 season where he impressively led Getafe to the UEFA Cup quarter finals and the Copa del Rey final, where they fell to Bayern Munich and Valencia respectively.
After only one season at Getafe, Laudrup resigned from the job and took over at Spartak Moscow where he endured a disappointing spell that culminated in him being sacked, just seven months in to his tenure.
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The former Denmark international, who won 104 caps for his country, had to wait a year for his next post in charge of Mallorca where he was applauded for saving the cash-strapped club from relegation.
Laudrup has been out of management since resigning from the job in September last year, after his relationship with club owner Lorenzo Serra Ferrer became untenable.
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Former Swansea manager Jan Molby has hailed the appointment, saying that he believes that his old club and compatriot are a “match made in heaven”.
Molby believes that Laudrup will carry on the footballing philosophy employed by Rodgers and former boss Roberto Martinez, that won the Swans many fans in their debut Premier League campaign.
“He was strongly influenced by Johan Cruyff when he was at Barcelona in the late 1980s, early 90s,” Molby told BBC Sport Wales.
“That’s how he wants to play his football, that’s how Swansea played last year under Brendan Rodgers, so if it happens I think it’s a marriage made in heaven,” Molby added.