Thursday, January 27, 2011

27 January 1949 - The Peerless Per Røntved

On 27 January 1949, Werder Bremen captain and Danish Player of the Year Per Røntved was born in Frederiksberg.

Røntved started his professional career as a left winger for Second Division Danish side Brønshøj Boldklub in 1967, but soon switched positions to defense, helping guide the team to promotion at the end of his second season.

He earned his first cap with the Danish senior side in 1970 and captained the side during the 1972 Olympics. The highlight of that campaign was a 3-2 victory over Brazil in the first round, with Røntved scoring in the 50th minute to put the Danes up 2-0. The Brazilians rallied to draw level with goals in the 68th and 69th minutes before an 83rd minute Danish score put Røntved's side ahead for good. That performance led to Røntved winning the 1972 Danish Player of the Year Award.

After the Olympics, Røntved moved to Werder Bremen. He spent the majority of his career there, making 194 league appearances between 1972 and 1979. Although he joined them as a midfielder, he switched positions once more, filling in at sweeper. His new coach, Otto Rehhagel, claimed that Røntved was the second-best sweeper in the world at the time, behind only fellow Bundesliga star Franz Beckenbauer.

In June 1979, Røntved, then 30 years old, moved back to the Danish Second Division with Randers Freja. After three and a half seasons, he rejoined the top flight with Hvidovre IF, then retired in 1983.

He continued to play internationally until 1982 and, in his last appearance, became the first player to make 75 appearances for the Danish national team.

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