The shadow that is cast by the Great Dane, Peter Schmeichel is a massive one.
One of the greatest ever, Schmeichel sets the standard for goalkeepers, a standard his son Kasper will inevitably compared against. And whilst he has enjoyed mixed success, he is very much his father’s son.
He, like Peter, has an insatiable thirst for winning. It used to make him unbearable to live with and whilst he has mellowed with age he still can’t stand to lose.
Coming through the City academy, Kasper enjoyed the best of both worlds and spent a fair bit of time at the Cliff with his father, and it was there that this winning mentality was instilled, starting with a certain French maestro as he told The Daily Telegraph:
“Cantona was just different class. Aura. Technical skills. Once or twice, when there were no other keepers, I went in goal or I would stand at the side of the net, saving the shots that went wide. Not many! It was annoying.
“I was very lucky. It instilled into me the work that needs doing, the amount of time that David Beckham stayed out after training, working on his crossing, his shots on goals, his free-kicks.
“That ingrained into my mentality that if you want to achieve something you have to work a lot harder than everyone else. It’s a hunger for winning and Sir Alex Ferguson is the epitome of that.”
As previously stated, Kasper came through City’s academy and grew up seeing his father play for both sides, but he has no split loyalties as Manchester goes to war over the league title:
“I want United to win the title – I’m a fan – but I have a lot of friends at City.”
Kasper takes on Chelsea tomorrow with Leicester in the FA Cup and will hope that this winning mentality helps him past the London club.