Wed 30 March 2022 | 10:30

Top facts about Martin Laursen, Lionheart

Martin Laursen led Villa’s defense and scored six goals as Martin O’Neill’s team claimed a sixth place in the Premier League during 2007/08 season. Read on to find out more facts about Martin Laursen.

Martin Laursen (born July 26, 1977) is a former Danish professional footballer who played center-back. He played three seasons with

A.C. Milan

in Italy, where he won the UEFA Champions League in 2003 and the Serie A championship in 2004.

Martin Laursen’s age

is 44. Here you can find out the most important facts about Martin Laursen, the former player.

The first fact about Martin Laursen is that he played for Hellas Verona and Parma FC in Italy, and was the captain of Aston Villa in England. Most recently, he was the manager of BK Sllerd-Vedbk.

From 2000 to 2008, Laursen was a member of the Danish national team 53 times, scoring two goals, and was awarded Danish Football Player of the Year in 2008. He participated for Denmark in the 2000 European Championship, the FIFA World Cup in 2002, and the European Championship in 2004.

Martin Laursen began his career in 1995 with Danish first division club Silkeborg IF before moving to Italy's Serie A club Hellas Verona in 1998.

In 2001, he was signed by AC Milan, where he was a regular part of the defense alongside his Danish compatriot Thomas Helveg and helped the club win the 2003 UEFA Champions League. He signed a four-year contract with Aston Villa in the English Premier League in 2004.

He was named captain of his team for the 2008/09 season. Aston Villa was still in third place with Laursen in the first half of the season, just a few points behind the league leaders.

Only when Laursen was sidelined for an extended period of time in December due to a knee injury did

Aston Villa

drop to fifth place.

After several failed comeback attempts, Laursen's career ended on May 15, 2009, due to this knee injury.

On March 29, 2000, he made his debut for the Danish national football team against Portugal. He competed in the European Football Championships in 2000 (no matches) and 2004 (four matches), as well as the 2002 World Cup (four matches).

Top facts about Martin Laursen:

Silkeborg IF was where Laursen began his professional career. In the 1997-98 season, he finished second in the Superligaen with this team. Laursen departed Silkeborg IF after three seasons to play in Serie B in Italy.

Martin Laursen early life


Martin Laursen’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he grew up in the town of Fårvang in East Jutland, where he early joined the local football club Horn-Fårvang Idrætsforening, but moved as a first-year youth to Silkeborg IF, where he started at Fodbold College.

He also got a contract in the club. Unfortunately, there is no information available about

Martin Laursen’s parents


Martin Laursen personal life

According to the website of his former club Aston Villa, the experienced defender's first focus is spending time with his family, and that a career in football media allows him to remain active in the game without taking up too much of his time. He did not, however, rule out a future in coaching or management as a possible path:

“I like spending quality time with my family. That was really important to me. However, it is possible that it will not be sufficient in 10 years. It's possible that I'd want to be a manager or anything else, but being a football manager and going into training and having football on my mind 24 hours a day would be tough for me.”

“That is something I am not yet prepared to deal with on my own. However, you can never predict what will happen in the future. This is the most suitable option for me at the moment.”

Martin Laursen professional career

From 1998 to 1999, he was a member of Hellas Verona. Preben Elkjr, the manager of Silkeborg IF and a former Verona player, made contact with Verona. Laursen had a rough start to the season due to a significant knee injury.

As a consequence, he was out for the first part of the season. Verona was promoted to Serie A despite Laursen's absence. Laursen had a stronger start to the Serie A season, as he was nearly always in the starting lineup, and he was first called up to the Danish side in an exhibition game against


in March 2000.

Martin Laursen club career

An important fact about Martin Laursen is that he started his football career with the local amateur club Horn/Frvang IF in Frvang, near Silkeborg. He started his professional career with Silkeborg IF, a local top-flight club in the Danish Superliga league.


A notable

fact about Martin Laursen

is that he made his Silkeborg debut in October 1995, playing under the guidance of manager Preben Elkjr.

In the 1997–98 Superliga season, Laursen appeared in 22 games and scored one goal, guiding Silkeborg to a second-place finish under new Silkeborg manager Sepp Piontek. Laursen was a member of the Silkeborg youth team.

From his debut in the Superliga until his departure from Silkeborg in June 1998, Laursen played in 35 games for the club, scoring one goal.


In August 1998, after three seasons with Silkeborg, Laursen joined Hellas Verona of the Serie B league, which was then in its second season. Preben Elkjr, a former Verona player who is now the manager of Silkeborg, was instrumental in facilitating contact with the Italian club.

A knee injury kept Laursen out of much of his first season with Verona, during which the squad gained promotion to the Serie A championship and won the Coppa Italia.

Verona's Laursen made a name for himself during his second season in Italy, earning a starting position. Among Verona fans, he is known as Lionheart Laursen because of his courage and great timing with which he strikes his headers.

In June 2000, Parma AC made a successful bid of 9,000 million Italian lire (€4,648,112) for half of Laursen's registration rights, in a transaction that included the continuation of Parma-owned player Anthony's loan spell at Verona FC.

An important fact about Martin Laursen is that he remained with Verona for a second season after that. Parma purchased the remaining 50 percent of Laursen's registration rights after the 2000–01 Serie A season for 9,000 million Italian lire (€4,648,112), while Eri entered into a co-ownership agreement with Verona in June 2001 for 2,500 million lire (€1,291,142).

After just three weeks of training with


, Laursen was loaned out to another side before making a single appearance for the squad.

A.C. Milan

A notable fact about Martin Laursen is that he was loaned out to Serie A rivals AC Milan in July 2001, at a time when the squad needed to add depth to their roster.

The Italian international had an instant impression on his new club, scoring two goals in the first four rounds of the 2001–02 Serie A season and participating in 22 league matches throughout his debut season.

After a season-long search, Milan decided to acquire him for 21.5 billion lire ($11,103,823) in the middle of the season. Laursen's playing time was significantly curtailed with the arrival of Alessandro Nesta, an Italian international defender, by Milan in the summer of 2002. Over the next two seasons, Laursen made a total of 20 league appearances.

Despite winning a UEFA Champions League with AC Milan in 2002–03, Laursen did not compete in the final of the competition. In 2003, he won the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Champions League, and the European Super Cup, and he went on to win the Serie A championship the following year.

Due to the presence of Paolo Maldini and

Alessandro Nesta

in Milan's first squad, Laursen was unable to establish himself in the club's first team over the long term. The signing of Dutch international defender Jaap Stam by AC Milan in May 2004 coincided with Laursen's departure from the club.

Villa Aston is a private residence in the city of Villa Aston, in the province of Villa Aston. On May 21, 2004, Laursen signed a four-year contract with Aston Villa in the Football Association Premier League for a total of £3 million.

In a game that ended 2–0 in Villa's favor on August 14, he made his debut for the club against Southampton on August 14. The first several days of Laursen's stay at Villa were depressing.

The 2004–05 season saw him put in a number of promising performances on and off, but the knee problem that had plagued him earlier in his career returned, preventing Laursen from making more than one Premier League appearance for Aston Villa in the 2005–06 season.

After suffering a recurrence of the knee injury during the summer 2006 off-season, his playing career at both club and international level was called into question.

After a full rehabilitation in Bologna, he returned to the Villa side in August of the following year. Villa hired Martin O'Neill as their new manager in August 2006, and the two came to an agreement that Laursen would be given the freedom to train as he wanted, so avoiding more injuries.

Laursen became a key component of O'Neill's aspirations, and his strong English style of play was a perfect match for him. Villa's Laursen established himself as a dependable goal scorer during the 2007–08 season, contributing six goals from his center-back position.

Included in this total are three goals against

Tottenham Hotspur

, two of which were scored in a thrilling 4–4 draw at White Hart Lane and the third in a 2–1 triumph at the stadium. Laursen and Aston Villa reached an agreement on a new two-and-a-half-year deal in January 2008.

A notable fact about Martin Laursen is that he played every game for Villa throughout the 2007–08 season, with the exception of the League Cup matches, and was awarded Supporters' Player of the Year in 2008.

The next season, Laursen took over as permanent club captain from Gareth Barry for the 2008–09 campaign.

In the first game of the 2008–09 season, Laursen led Aston Villa to a 2–2 tie against Odense BK of Denmark in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. He also maintained his goal-scoring record from set pieces by scoring Villa's second goal in the draw.

As well as a UEFA Cup victory against Icelandic side FH Hafnarrörur, Laursen scored in a Premier League match against Stoke City.

On October 23, 2008, Laursen gave Aston Villa the lead in a UEFA Cup match against Ajax Amsterdam with a close-range header from the penalty spot. After everything was said and done, Villa went on to win the game 2–1. In November 2008, he was named Danish Football Player of the Year for his efforts on the field.

In December 2008, Laursen had another injury. In January 2009, he returned to the field for a match against West Bromwich Albion, however he was forced to leave the field due to an injury relapse.

Laursen's career, according to O'Neill, will be ended because of the injuries, which will take at least 10 months to heal even if they are healed. O'Neill expressed his fear over Laursen's future in April 2009. In May 2009, Laursen announced his retirement from football rather than undergo extensive surgery.


Newcastle United

, Aston Villa played their last game of the season on May 24, which took place at Villa Park.

Prior to the game's start, Laursen addressed the Villa Park fans, thanking them for their support and wished them more success in the future. In the aftermath of that, he was included into the "Villa Legends" section of the Aston Villa official website.

Martin Laursen international career

In December 1996, while playing for Silkeborg, Laursen made his debut for the Danish under-19 national team, appearing in one game. He was called up to the Danish under-21 national team in February 1997, and he went on to appear in 14 games for the under-21s until June 1999.

In a friendly match against Portugal in March 2000, Laursen made his senior national team debut for the Danish national team.

An important

fact about Martin Laursen

is that he was a member of the Danish national squad for the UEFA Euro 2000 tournament, however he was unable to participate due to injury.

During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Laursen made his debut for Denmark, appearing in all four of the squad's games until the team was eliminated.

The goal came in injury time in the last qualification match in September 2003, during the UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying campaign. It was Laursen's first international goal, and it was a crucial one for his country.

Danes were in contention for a place in the final after his goal leveled the game at 2–2 with Romania and placed Denmark in the final. In the end, Laursen and the Danish squad qualified for the World Cup after drawing their last game and winning their qualification group.

A notable

fact about Martin Laursen

is that he featured in all four of Denmark's games throughout the tournament and he performed well in each of them.

Following the March 2005 game against Kazakhstan Laursen's national team career was cut short due to a knee injury that he sustained. A further knee injury forced him to withdraw from the Danish national team before the game in November 2006.

He had been out for more than one and a half years when he was called up to the squad in November 2006. In a 2–0 win against Latvia in June 2007, Laursen was reinstated to Denmark's starting lineup as a defensive midfielder.

On October 11, 2008, he competed in his last international match, which was against the Republic of Malta. Having announced his retirement from international football in January 2009, Laursen cited the physical strain of competing for both club and country as the primary reason.

Martin Laursen after retirement

Following his retirement, Laursen relocated to Denmark and established himself in the town of Vedbk. He has worked as a football pundit for Sky Sports as well as a co-commentator for TV2 in Denmark on a temporary basis.

As the head coach of BK Sllerd-Vedbk in the Danish 2nd Divisions, Martin Laursen started his coaching career in September 2011 and is now the club's vice-president. He resigned from his position on June 14, 2012, after successfully keeping the squad out of relegation.

Martin Laursen and Reggina controversies

While the glitter of Italian football is largely linked with the 1990s, if you're looking for the pinnacle of the league, go no further than 2000-01.

Roma won their last Scudetto with goals from

Gabriel Batistuta


Francesco Totti

; in a stereotypical San Siro soap opera, both Milan clubs sacked their managers after disappointing seasons; Alvaro Recoba and Dida were among a number of South American footballers who received lengthy bans after being found to have used fake passports to qualify as Europeans.

To top it off, six clubs towards the bottom of the league were separated by just two points, resulting in a relegation play-off between Verona and Reggina marked by stones, spittle, and controversy.

In 1998, Laursen relocated to Verona from Silkeborg, Denmark, only to suffer the first in a series of catastrophic knee injuries that would end his career.

An important fact about Martin Laursen is that he has a lot of screen time in A Season with Verona, where he comes off as a stoic guy who is wise beyond his years – he was only 22 at the time – and a pretty fantastic defender, getting the nickname ‘Lionheart Laursen’.

Verona ended the 2000-01 season in 14th position, tied with Reggina for the last relegation spot with 37 points. A two-leg play-off was held to determine who would be relegated to Serie B.

Laursen scored the lone goal in the first leg as Verona won 1-0 at home, but nothing could have prepared them for what was to come in the second game.

The center-back was part of a talented but inexperienced Verona squad that included future internationals Massimo Oddo, Mauro Cameronesi, Alberto Gilardino, and Adrain Mutu, but they appeared doomed for Serie B just three minutes before half-time when Reggina scored twice to take a 2-1 aggregate lead.

Verona's ailing striker Michele Cossato headed a spectacular away goal with only four minutes left to preserve the team, but the mayhem had only just started.

As the Verona players rushed down the tunnel at full-time, they were instantly mobbed by what seemed to be stewards but turned out to be


supporters preparing to assault them.

Giambattista Pastorello, the president of Verona, was assaulted, while Reggina owner Pasquale Foti was claimed to be in the tunnel taking part in some of the kicking.

"They're wild down there in the south of Italy," Laursen remarks. "Obviously, it was a crucial game for us to remain in Serie A. We lost 2-1, but thanks to an away goal, we were able to remain in the game.”

"The fans and supporters of the Reggina squad were clearly unhappy and disrespectful. The main issue in Italy is that they are not respected as much as they are in England; their culture and attitude are flawed in many respects.”

"They believed they could hurl stones at us, spit at us, and do anything they wanted. But after the game, we simply stayed in the locker room for a few hours, waiting for the cops to take the people away so we could hop on a bus or a plane and leave.”

"The attitude down in the south of Italy is a little insane — that's simply the way it is."

The night's tension is masked by Laursen's pleasant Danish accent. Verona's bus broke down on the highway even after leaving the stadium, causing fears of sabotage and a possible assault.

When it was discovered that the bus had just broken down, the night took a hilarious turn, allowing the festivities to commence.

"All they were upset about was the fact that we remained up late," he explains. "I recall sprinting to the changing room as quickly as I could."

"I was aware that several of the players had been hit by Reggina residents. Nothing occurred to me; all I did was rush as fast as I could into the changing room and then wait.”

"Something was going on with our president and a few of the guys. It was simply a horrible, awful thing on their part; not good behavior on their part. That's all there is to it."

Some more facts about Martin Laursen:

An important fact about Martin Laursen is that he was also a member of the team for the European Championship, although he did not play a single game due to injury.

Laursen wanted to go one step farther following this, and Parma quickly enrolled. Laursen was transfer-free at the moment, thus he was free to take over. The adjustment was unavoidable. However, after just three weeks of training, AC Milan signed Laursen.

They offered €10 million, and Laursen transferred teams once again. This time, a significant step had been taken. AC Milan urgently needed Laursen at the moment due to a slew of injuries. As a result, the options have to be expanded.

In the 2002-03 season, Laursen led Milan to the Champions League final. He was unable to profile himself since Nesta and Maldini, not Laursen, were at the core of the defense.

Laursen was traded to Premier League team Aston Villa FC for €4.5 million on March 21, 2004. He agreed to a four-year deal. The shift was aided in part by his strong performance in the European Championship. He appeared in all four of Denmark's matches.

His Aston Villa debut came on 14 August 2004 against Southampton FC, and the game finished in a 2-0 victory for Aston Villa. Laursen impressed at Aston Villa, but a knee ailment that had killed him previously in his career reappeared, requiring him to recover for an extended period of time.

Due to a knee injury, Laursen only played one game in the 2005-06 season. It was unclear if he would return to the field after his recovery. As a result, he decided to go to Bologna in order to recuperate more quickly. In August 2006, he returned to Aston Villa.

He returned to Aston Villa and scored six goals as a center defense, three against Tottenham Hotspur FC (away), two at White Hart Lane, and one against Tottenham Hotspur (home).

Laursen's contract at Aston Villa was extended until June 2010 in January 2008. He was also named Danish Footballer of the Year that year. It was stated in May 2009 that he would have to retire owing to severe injuries.

He had a news conference that he began and finished with emotion. The chat included the following points: "I was still in the greatest form of my life five months ago. But I'm not going to be able to heal from my injuries."

Between 2000 and 2008, Laursen appeared in 53 (two goal) international matches for Denmark. He made his debut in a friendly away game against Portugal on Wednesday, March 29, 2000, under the direction of national coach Bo Johansson. After 85 minutes, he took over for Brian Steen Nielsen.

In 2000, he won his first big competition with Denmark, the European Championship. He did not, however, play due to an injury. Laursen fared better in the 2002 World Cup, appearing in all four games. The same was true at the 2004 European Championship.

In 2005, a persistent knee ailment jeopardized his international career. In November 2006, he was called up one again. Laursen had to decline since he was still recovering from an injury.

In the air, he was a very skilled central defensive player. He begins his career in Horn/Frvang, then moves on to the Silkeborg academy, where he made his debut in October 1995 under the tutelage of coach Preben Elkjr.

A notable fact about Martin Laursen is that he is one of the protagonists of the 1997-1998 Superligaen championship, which his team won in second place under the direction of Coach Sepp Piontek: Laursen appears in 22 games and scores one goal. He was a member of the club until June 1998.

In August 1998, he moved to Italy, to Verona, to Serie B, and played little in the first year due to a knee injury. In 2000-2001, he debuted in Serie A, scoring crucial goals for the team's survival (the first being against Inter on January 23, 2000), as well as the decisive one in Verona-Reggina (1-0), the first leg of the play-off valid for salvation.

Parma, who owned the player's card, integrated him into their squad in the summer of 2001, but after three weeks, the Dane was turned over to Milan. He did well in his debut for the Rossoneri, scoring two goals in the first four games.

A notable fact about Martin Laursen is that he won the Champions League with the Rossoneri in 2002-2003, despite missing the final against Juventus.

The club's presence of two champions of the caliber of

Paolo Maldini

and Alessandro Nesta prevents him from making a name for himself in the coming years. He also won the Italian Cup and the European Super Cup with the Rossoneri in 2003, as well as the Scudetto in 2003-2004.

On May 21, 2004, he was signed to a four-year contract by Aston Villa, a Premier League club. On August 14, 2004, he made his Villans debut against Aston Villa in Southampton (2-0).

Laursen's time at Aston Villa has been full of ups and downs. In the 2004-2005 season, he performed admirably, but the knee injury that had previously plagued him reappears, preventing Laursen from playing in the 2005-2006 season.

After that, the player went to Bologna to begin rehabilitation therapy before returning to Aston Villa in August 2006.

After the knee problem reappeared in the summer of 2006, serious doubts began to linger about the player's ability to continue playing club and international football.

After a month and a half absence, he returns to the Danish national team in November 2006, but is forced to retire due to another knee injury.

Despite strong doubts about his physical condition, he helps his team earn a spot in Intertoto in the 2007-2008 season. As a result, his contract is renewed.

Laursen captained the team in the first match of the 2008-2009 season, an Intertoto Cup match against Odense, which ended two to two. He went on to score in UEFA Cup and Premier League matches against FH and Stoke City, respectively.

He scored a goal against


on October 23, 2008, in a match won by Aston Villa by a score of two to one. Laursen then took over as club captain from Gareth Barry.

Martin O'Neill expressed his concerns about the defender's future career on April 22, 2009, due to a series of injuries. The last of which, knee-deep, kept him out of January of the same year and would keep him out for the next seven months. He announced his retirement on May 15, at the age of 32.

In a friendly against Portugal in March 2000, he made his Danish national team debut. Even if he is unable to compete due to injury, he has been called up for Euro 2000.

During the 2002 World Cup, he appeared in all four of Denmark's games before being eliminated. In the penultimate match of the Euro 2004 qualifiers, he scores his first goal for the Danish national team.

It is a crucial goal for Denmark's qualification: the 2-2 draw against


, a result that keeps the Northern Europeans in contention for qualification, obtained in the next match thanks to a draw, which ensures first place in the group.

He announced his retirement from the national team on January 29, 2009, after 53 appearances and two goals.

Martin Laursen and former Villa manager

While Martin Laursen has nothing but praise for former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill, the same cannot be said about some of the players who worked under him.

Martin Laursen is regarded as a cult figure at Aston Villa, where he led the squad at the conclusion of his career, although his tenure at the club was cut short due to a chronic knee ailment.

Laursen revealed that David O'Leary, the manager who signed him from AC Milan, did little to alleviate his knee concerns with his training philosophy, but the Danish defender was relieved when O'Leary's successor, Martin O'Neill, proved to be much more understanding of Laursen's very specific regimen.

O'Neill was ready to tailor his expectations of Laursen to his knee's limitations, a feature that the defender really appreciates. However, during an interview on The Broken Metatarsal podcast, Laursen admitted that not everyone liked O'Neill as much as he did.

"Martin O'Neill was despised by certain players because of the manner he ran the team. He was quite traditional, and it was his way or the highway for him. You couldn't say anything to him since he made all the decisions," Laursen recalled of him.

"However, if we only speak about my position with him, that was fantastic. The games are crucial, he told me. I won't say I don't care what you do Monday through Friday, but the most essential thing is that you be accessible on Saturday.”

"And it was excellent to hear since David O'Leary had told me that I should be at every training session, no matter what. Martin O'Neill, on the other hand, stated that you may train indoors on Monday and Tuesday, take Wednesday off, and then train with us on Thursday if you wish, or simply train with us on Friday. It all depends on how you're feeling and how your knee is feeling.”

Martin Laursen social media


Martin Laursen social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not have any pages on any social media platforms.

Martin Laursen body measurements

Speaking about

Martin Laursen body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 191cm and 83kg.

Martin Laursen net worth and salary

Martin Laursen's net worth

is estimated to be around $14 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


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