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Michael Laudrup v Spain 1988


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Euro Memory from Richard Buxton.

Much like their iconic two-toned kit, memories of Denmark's dazzling display at the 1986 World Cup rapidly faded in the years that immediately followed.

The afterglow of their Mexican foray saw Sepp Piontek's 'Dynamite' burn out. More than most, Michael Laudrup appeared destined for a steep decline.

In the run-up to Euro 88, the Danes' talisman had endured a difficult season with Juventus where he failed to score in any of his 28 Serie A appearances. Worse still, he had not found the target for his country in nearly two years, since rounding off an impressive solo dribble in a 6-1 thrashing of Uruguay.

A reunion with their World Cup vanquishers Spain began in predictable fashion as Miguel Muñoz's side took the lead through Michel's fifth-minute strike. But Laudrup proved that reports of his personal demise had been greatly exaggerated less than 20 minutes later with a trademark equaliser. 

After Soren Lerby helped on John Helt's interception of a throw-in, Laudrup produced a slaloming run which took out two defenders before firing past Andoni Zubizarreta with a bouncing left-footed shot on the edge of the area.

His ability to glide effortlessly through opposing backlines was hardly a phenomenon but Hanover's Niedersachsenstadion bore witness to one of the few occasions when it was used to take a game by the scruff of its neck. 

Laudrup's efforts ultimately proved in vain as Denmark lost 3-2 and finished their Euro 88 group stage campaign with zero points. A year later, the 23-year-old would find himself conquering Spain again in his own right.

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