There are many inspirational things that a father can say to his son and only two people will ever know what former Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel said to his son Kasper.
But it worked.
Peter Schmeichel had left Manchester United on a treble-winning high at the end of the 1998/99 season and finished his career at Manchester City in 2002/03 after spells with Sporting CP in Portugal and Aston Villa.
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Coming up through the ranks at City, in the shadow of the great Dane must have been a blessing and a curse at the same time for his goalkeeping son Kasper. The expectation was high; the disappointment huge.
Kasper Schmeichel had loan spells with Darlington, Bury and Falkirk before then-manager Sven-Göran Eriksson gave him his City debut in August 2007. The Dane was playing in the first team at the start of 2007/08 but the emergence of Joe Hart forced Schmeichel to go on loan to Cardiff City.
“I started the season because Joe got a freak injury dislocating his finger on someone's shoulder. I kept four clean sheets in seven and saved a penalty from Robin van Persie which I thought was good going for a 20-year-old. But before our next game, Sven took me aside after dinner at the hotel and said Joe would be starting.
'It was difficult to accept and I didn't think at the time it was the right decision. But the choice was made, and it was Joe. I can see now the manager had made the right call. Joe has gone on to show he is absolutely top drawer."
Furthermore, the signing of Republic of Ireland international Shay Given in the 2009 January transfer window dropped Schmeichel down to third-choice at City, and in August 2009, he left Eastlands for the final time.
To be told that he is not as good as his father must have grated with the young man, but he knew what he had to do.
He linked up with former manager and father-figure Sven-Göran Eriksson at Notts County where the Swede had recently become the director of football after leaving Manchester City in June 2008.
He spent just the one season with the Magpies because problems with the club's finances meant that his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
He joined Leeds United in May 2010, but Sven came calling again and took him to Leicester City in June 2011, where Eriksson had been since the previous October.
Sven remarked at the time: "He is a great keeper. It was a great buy. I had him and Joe at Manchester City and I said I can't see the difference between them - almost nothing."
The Swede’s replacement, Nigel Pearson agreed: “Kasper is forever having to deal with comparisons with his father, which you understand, but he is a player in his own right.”
After miraculously avoiding relegation with Leicester his father Peter said: “It has been a very long road for him, longer than it should have been. But that is just the nature of being someone else’s son. It has its challenges being the son of someone who has played in the
Premier League at a big club Manchester United.”
Now one year later, son Kasper is an exceptional goalkeeper, playing for the best team in the country, at the summit of English football. A rock who is the cornerstone of a team that will go down in Premier League history.
Like father, like son.
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