Friday, May 31, 2013

DON'T BET AGAINST THE GOALKEEPER

Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year for 2012, Jimmy Nielsen, has established himself as one of the best players in the league and a fan favorite in Kansas City, playing for Sporting Kansas City. Yet while supporters are familiar with his achievements on the field and larger-than-life personality off it, few are aware of the remarkable story that led him to the US Midwest.

Compared from a young age to Denmark's greatest ever goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, Nielsen was scouted by Manchester United and a host of other leading European clubs, but at the point when he should have been building a great career he was instead developing a ferocious gambling habit. In 1999, he was dropped from Denmark's Under-21 team after missing curfew because of a lost night at the roulette table.

More about Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper, and the co-author, Paolo Bandini, at Ascend Books.

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