- Preben Elkjær Larsen
Infobox Football biography
playername= Preben Elkjær
fullname = Preben Elkjær Larsen
nickname = Cavallo Pazzo ("Crazy horse")
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1957|9|11
currentclub = Retired
youthyears = 1963-1973
youthclubs = FB
years = 1976
Vanløse IF 1. FC Köln K.S.C. Lokeren
caps(goals) = 015 0(7)
nationalyears = 1977-1988
nationalteam = Denmark
nationalcaps(goals) = 069 (38)
Preben Elkjær Larsen (born
September 11, 1957in Copenhagen) is a Danish former professional football player, simply referred to as Preben Elkjær. He was a strikerand his aggressive style of play was well combined with the calmness and vision of the younger Michael Laudrupwhen they played side by side on the Danish national team from 1982-1988.
Elkjær Larsen was known as a notorious smoker - to much dismay for his varying coaches. His playing style, though, was not short of breath, and was dominated by a rock-like determination. He never seemed to give up on a "lost" ball - from time to time resulting in a goal, when the opponent had deemed the ball over the line and out of play, only to see Elkjær chase it down.
Preben Elkjær Larsen's career started with Vanløse in Denmark in 1976, where he stayed for just one season, playing 15 games and scoring seven goals. He then joined
1. FC Kölnin Germanywhich at the time was one of Europe's leading clubs. He never got on with the manager or the harsh, disciplined atmosphere of a German dressingroom, and Elkjær's stay proved shortlived and not particularly successful. In February 1978, Elkjær moved to K.S.C. Lokerenin Belgiumwhere he stayed for five years, the longest period he spent at any one club during his career.
From 1984 to 1988, Elkjær Larsen played for
Hellas Verona F.C.in Italy, and in his first season with the team, he played an instrumental role in winning the only Serie Atitle (the " scudetto") in the history of Hellas Verona. Also in his first season Elkjær Larsen became a legend in Italy, when he scored against Juventusafter a solo-run where he had lost his right-foot boot but continued dribling and finally put the ball into the net.
At international level, Elkjær Larsen made his international debut for Denmark, aged 19 years 284 days (on
June 22, 1977), at home against Finland, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win for his country. He played a prominent role in the Euro 1984, scoring two goals for the Danish team which paved the way for his move to Italian football. During the tournament the Danes looked promising, and played attractive attacking football, but they went out at the semi-final stage, losing to Spain on penalties. Elkjær most famously missed his penalty kick, sending the ball high over the goal. Elkjær Larsen then played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, where Denmark surprised many observers by progressing from the first round before being once again knocked out by Spain. In that tournament Elkjær scored four goals, including a hat-trickagainst Uruguay. He won the adidas Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament. In 1988, Elkjær received the last cap for his country on June 14 1988, aged 30 years 277 days, when Denmark lost 2-0 to West Germany in the Euro 88 tournament. In total, he played 69 times for Denmark and scored 38 goals, and became one of the most loved footballers Denmark has ever seen. Elkjær Larsen had a famously no-nonsense and spirited approach to his role as a fox-in-the-box always lurking for a scoring opportunity. This coupled with a broad grin and cheeky humour endeared him to the crowds - if not the referees - and to this day he is regarded of as one of Scandinavia's all-time greatest forwards.
Elkjær Larsen's final club was Vejle back in Denmark. He came to the club as the biggest star in Danish football but he had a hard time living up to the high expectations of the crowds and never really achieved great succes there. He stayed at Vejle for two years until his retirement in 1990.
Career after playing
After his retirement from playing, Elkjær Larsen in 1995 took on the job as head coach of
Silkeborg IFin the Danish Superliga. On 19 November 1996, however, Elkjær announced his decision to head new TV sports channel "TVS", a project formed in corporation between national TV stations DR and TV2, the Danish FA (DBU) and telecompany Tele Danmark. The station did not become a success, and was eventually closed.
*German DFB Cup: 1977 and 1978, with
1. FC Köln
*German Bundesliga: 1977/78, with 1. FC Köln
*Danish "Player of the Year" : 1984
Serie A: 1984/85, with Hellas Verona
*it icon [http://www.prebenelkjaer.com/ PrebenElkjaer.com]
*da icon [http://www.dbu.dk/lbase/playerInfo.aspx?playerid=3708 Danish national team profile]
*da icon [http://vejle-boldklub.dk/statistik-spillernavn.asp?Spillere=Preben%20Elkj%E6r Vejle Boldklub profile]
*da icon [http://www.danske-nyheder.dk/arkiv/1996.11.19.html#Elkjær_TV-direktør Danske-Nyheder.dk] , Danish news on TVS from 19/11-1996
*da icon [http://uv-mat.dbu.dk/seLex.asp?id=891 FodboldLex profile]
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