Former Real Madrid midfielder Michael Laudrup has discussed his controversial switch from Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu saying he knew the time was right to leave the Camp Nou.
The ex-Denmark international was part of the ‘Dream Team’ managed by Johann Cryuff. he was part of the side that won four league titles in a row between 1990 and 1994 and also picked up a European Cup winner’s medal in 1992.
But he left the Catalan outfit in 1994 signing for their fierce rivals for who he went on to play 76 times and scoring 15 goals. He picked up another league winner’s medal in 1995.
Speaking in an extensive interview with Goal.com, Laudrup said he knew the time was right to leave Barcelona after they were beaten 4-0 in the European Cup at Wembley.
“I had a lot of experience in football by then and I realised football is continuous evolution, at whatever level. A team is never complete. You have to think to win today and tomorrow and to plan for the future. When you have to change seven or eight players that is when something has gone badly wrong. The day Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leave Barcelona and Real Madrid they will both face a crucial challenge to try and keep on winning,” he commented.
Laudrup is generally held in high esteem by both Real and Barcelona fans – something that doesn’t happen with Luis Figo – who is still seen as a figure of hate among Cules fans.
Asked what the difference between the two was, Laudrup commented: “I don’t know, maybe we should ask the fans. When I returned two years ago I did not get a very good reception but when I finished as a player there was never a problem. I still go to the Camp Nou often. I always got well treated in Spain, both in the Camp Nou and the Santiago Bernabeu, but also in Bilbao and Seville. The truth is I do not know why they treat me so well in places where I did not play but this is what I’m most proud of.”