Sports Nicknames - The Great Dane



When looking through various lists of the greatest goalkeepers to play the game of football, you'll rarely find one that doesn't include Danish keeper Peter Schmeichel. Known as "The Great Dane", he became known worldwide thanks to his performances for Manchester United and the Danish national team.

While at United, Schmeichel had a bit of a chaotic time. On the field, he was fantastic and helped the club win five Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League title. Off the field, he had a public argument with Sir Alex Ferguson and was nearly sold and he was accused of racism by Arsenal striker Ian Wright. The racism case was eventually dropped, but the shadow remained.

At the international level, Schmeichel helped Denmark win the 1992 European Championship in Sweden. They also managed to get to the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup, where they would lose 3-2 to Brazil. This remains their best ever finish in a World Cup.

Peter Schmeichel left Manchester United in 1999, claiming that the 60 games a season in England were taking a toll on his 36 year old body. He moved to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, winning the Primeira Liga in his first season. He finished his career with a move back to England with Aston Villa before switching to and playing a single game for Manchester City in 2003.

Peter Schmeichel was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his impact on the English game in 2003. His son, Kaspar Schmeichel, currently plays for Leicester City and won a Premier League title in 2016.


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