Kasper Schmeichel, Nice
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Kasper Schmeichel: 5 things on Nice's new goalkeeper

Kasper Schmeichel: 5 things on Nice's new goalkeeper

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Publish on 08/08 at 19:48 - S. TELFORD

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Kasper Schmeichel has swapped Leicester City for Nice. An English Premier League winner with the former, what else is there to know about the Danish shot-stopper?

Nice have seriously bolstered their ranks this summer, with Schmeichel joined by Wales star Aaron Ramsey from Juventus and Italian centre-back Mattia Viti from Empoli among others, the hope now that they can improve on last year's fifth-place finish and qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

 

With Schmeichel, les Aiglons have acquired a big character on and off the pitch. Ligue1.com has the lowdown...

 

 

1) Like father, like son

 

Kasper is the son of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, who captained the Red Devils to the continental treble with victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

 

Accordingly, despite being born in Copenhagen, the younger Schmeichel grew up in England at the height of his father's playing career, and speaks fluent English with a Northern accent. He is a childhood friend of Alex Bruce, son of Peter's former Man Utd teammate Steve.

 

Schmeichel Jr. soon became a goalkeeper of some promise in his own right, and was signed to Manchester City's youth academy from the age of 15. After graduating in 2006, he would only make 10 appearances over the next three seasons, though...

 

Peter Schmeichel, Denmark

 

2) He once played for Falkirk!

 

Perhaps surprisingly for a Premier League winner with 84 caps for Denmark, Schmeichel boasts, among others, on his playing CV: Darlington, Bury, Falkirk, Cardiff, Coventry, Notts County and Leeds.

 

Yes, Schmeichel bounced around the lower echelons of British football before finally catching fire at Leicester in the 2011/12 season - although that's not to say there weren't highlights on his journey up the divisions.

 

Schmeichel was inches away from scoring an audacious overhead kick for Notts County in September 2009, but more importantly helped them to the League Two title at the end of that season. He also kept nine clean sheets in a 19-game unbeaten run as Leicester were promoted to the top-flight in 2014.

 

"I still always look for Falkirk's results as with most of the clubs I played for," he told the Scotsman last year. "And I only look back with fond memories."

 

 

3) A Premier League winner

 

Leicester shocked English football when they won the Premier League title in 2016, but while people tend to remember Jamie Vardy's goals or Riyadh Mahrez's assists, Schmeichel's role in that triumph shouldn't be overlooked.

 

Schmeichel kept 15 clean sheets that season, second only to runners-up Arsenal's former Stade Rennais FC goalkeeper Peter Cech, making 100 saves at a rate of four per game in the process.

 

In winning the English top-flight crown, Kasper and Peter became the only biological father and son duo to have both won the Premier League, doing so in the same position. At 29, Kasper was also the same age as Schmeichel Sr. had been for United first title triumph in 1993, which also arrived on 2 May that year.

 

 

4) Penalty king

 

Schmeichel never did match his dad's 11 career goals scored - despite that overhead kick attempt in League Two - but he has few equals when it comes to penalty saves, having stopped some 26 spot-kicks for club and country to date.

 

In Leicester's first ever Champions League campaign, he saved penalties home and away against Sevilla to help secure a 3-2 aggregate win in the last 16. Mo Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Luka Modric, Romelu Lukaku and Robin van Persie are among those who have also found themselves on the wrong side of a Schmeichel spot-kick save.

 

Kane followed up that miss to convert from close range as England beat Denmark to the final of UEFA Euro 2020 before losing to Italy, though...

 

 

5) Coming home?

 

The FA scoped out the possibility of Schmeichel swapping his international allegiance from Denmark to England in August 2007 after he kept three clean sheets for Manchester City at the start of the 2007/08 campaign, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

 

His third senior cap was a 1-0 defeat to England in which he pulled off a string of impressive saves, earning praise from Roy Hodgson, and he later surpassed his father's record of minutes without conceding for the national team when he shut Peru out in Denmark's opening game of the 2018 World Cup.

 

"Has it ever been home?!" Schmeichel responded ahead of the aforementioned meeting with England two years later when a journalist asked him if football was set to do so.

 

Neither nation ultimately prevailed, but Nice fans should find themselves on the winning side more often than not now that this great Dane calls the Côte d'Azur home.