Michael Laudrup eyes retirement despite Qatar success
Michael Laudrup could quit coaching in a year, with the Dane reluctant to grow old on the bench after turning 50 last June, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid playmaker told Reuters.
Dubai: Michael Laudrup could quit coaching in a year, with the Dane reluctant to grow old on the bench after turning 50 last June, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid playmaker told Reuters.
Laudrup enjoyed a dazzling playing career for club and country, his honours including Italy`s Serie A championship, five consecutive Spanish La Liga titles and the European Cup.
For Denmark, he was the balletic genius in the country`s joyous 1986 World Cup team that beat former champions Uruguay and West Germany 6-1 and 2-0 respectively before losing in the last 16.
After hanging up his boots in 1998, Laudrup embarked on a coaching career that included stints at Spain`s Getafe and Mallorca, Spartak Moscow and Swansea City of the English Premier League, where he won the League Cup in 2013.
"If I am a coach for one, two or five years more, I don`t know yet, but I turned 50 this (past) summer and don`t want to become old on the bench," Laudrup said in an email interview.
The nomadic Dane is now coach of Qatar`s Lekhwiya, signing a one-year contract last June after refusing offers from England and Spain.
"Because I already had that experience, I preferred something different in this last part of my coaching career," Laudrup added. "I don`t have a long-term plan because I will not be a coach for that long.
"I was offered a longer contract in Lekhwiya but I wanted to see what it was like in Qatar, on and off the pitch."
Laudrup has a tough act to follow after ex-coach Eric Gerets led Lekhwiya to their third title in four seasons last term.
Those are the club`s only championships and historically Qatar`s biggest club is Al Sadd with 13 titles.
The rivals are fighting it out again this season and are joint-top on 36 points, 11 clear of third after 15 matches.
"I think we can be very pleased with our season so far," Laudrup said.
He said success would constitute winning the league or domestic cup, plus qualification for the knock-out stages of the Asian Champions League, which is played over the calendar year.
"Regarding my coaching philosophy, I think it is important to adapt to the team/players and the culture in the country where you are coaching, but to keep possession is a key issue wherever you are," he said.
"Every player can be a good player in this aspect if practising enough -- my results at Getafe and Swansea, especially, confirm this."