Peter Schmeichel – Mr. Clean Sheet
Sir Alex Ferguson called him a “giant figure” in the history of Manchester United. Today, former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel works for TV and watches as his son Kasper follows in his footsteps.
Life after football can often be a challenge, but those challenges do not come much greater than the tasks Peter Schmeichel has been facing recently.
The former Denmark international, one of the best goalkeepers of all time and in some expert opinions the very best, is trying his hand at some of the worst jobs imaginable. Cleaning out huge oil tanks in Russia, gutting eels in the Netherlands, clearing Paris sewers and digging for coal in a Polish mine are all part of a day’s work now for Schmeichel, who is filming a series for the Discovery Channel programme on the world’s dirtiest jobs. Schmeichel appears to have found his niche in the media since retiring from the game – he has been a regular expert pundit on the BBC and Danish channel TV3 and has now turned his hand to making programmes which have nothing to do with football. First there was a stint on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing”, then he hosted the quiz show ” 1 vs 100″ on TV3 in Denmark before signing up for this epic series with the Discovery Channel.
Even so, football continues to be a distraction. It may be four years since he last pulled on a shirt but now a familiar figure is once more filling the frame of a goal in Manchester. Tall, blond, shouting at his defenders, spread-eagling his body in a “star-jump” to put off rival strikers, Schmeichel is back. Except that this is Kasper Schmeichel, the 20-year-old son of Peter, and very much a chip off the old block. Yet Kasper has a daunting task if he is to get even close to his old man’s list of achievements — and that is even before he starts considering coal¬mining.
Peter Schmeichel s record in England’s Premier League is almost unbelievable: he kept clean sheets in 42% of the matches in which he played, an astonishing statistic. In his eight years at Manchester United, the club won the Premier League five times, the FA Cup three times as well as a prized Champions League title — not to mention the European Championship with Denmark. The informed view was that Schmeichel made so many crucial saves that he was worth 12 points a season.