England is favorites to progress and face Italy in Sunday’s final. But if there’s one that knows the way to defy odds, it’s Schmeichel. After surviving Premier League relegation within the 2014/15 season, Leicester got 5,000-1 odds to win a primary ever top-flight title. With Schmeichel in goal and therefore the relatively unknown trio of N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, and Jamie Vardy, the Foxes triumphed over the likes of Chelsea, Man City, and Arsenal to finish the 2015/16 campaign as champions. Fast forward five years and Schmeichel was once more in an unfancied team because the Foxes took on Thomas Tuchel’s in-form Chelsea side within the FA final.
However, Youri Tielemans’ wonder goal including a number of fine saves from Schmeichel saw Leicester triumph at Wembley. Despite the glittering career of his father, Peter, who won five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy with Manchester United, Schmeichel Jnr had to figure his high from the rock bottom of the league pyramid. After featuring in Manchester City’s academy, Schmeichel’s first taste of senior football came during a loan spell with Darlington united Two. Loan spells at Bury, Falkirk, Cardiff, and Coventry followed before he joined Notts County on a permanent deal in 2009 as his first-team chances remained limited at the Etihad.
With Notts County heavily backed during the Munto Finance revolution, Schmeichel was on a five-year deal worth a reported 15,000-a-week, a staggering amount for a League Two club. Schmeichel went on to assist the Magpies win promotion to England’s third tier in his one and only season at Meadow Lane. And with Notts County heading into financial disarray, Schmeichel, who was only 23, admirably agreed to forgo his wages and leave on a free transfer. At the time, Notts County chairman Ray Drew said: “To hold out for a possible transfer fee was too big a risk for this football club. “If we weren’t ready to sell him, the worth of his contract over subsequent four years was such it could have had severe financial implications on Notts County’s future. “Kasper has agreed to forgo all his future wages, which may be a huge concession by such a young man.”
Schmeichel moved up two leagues to sign for Leeds but spent only one season at Elland Road before joining Leicester. In his 10 years at the King Power Stadium, Schmeichel has thus far helped Leicester win promotion to the Premier League, claim an unprecedented top-flight title, and a primary ever FA Cup. it’s not just his courage on the pitch that has received recognition, though, it’s what he’s done off it. In 2018, Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and 4 people tragically died during a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium. It is believed Schmeichel was held back by police as he tried to rush towards the wreckage to assist the victims.
He would then remain strong for his teammates and staff as Leicester mourned the death of their beloved owner. Schmeichel remains Leicester’s No.1 and is looking to make more history for himself at Euro 2020. But it’s not only his form at Euro 2020 which will be remembered. Schmeichel and his Denmark teammates witnessed Christian Eriksen collapse on the pitch during their match with Finland last month because it was later revealed the latter suffered asystole. Pictures showed Schmeichel and Denmark captain Simon Kjaer comforting Eriksen’s distressed partner, Sabrina Kvist, while the Inter Milan midfielder received treatment. once more, it showed the type of character Schmeichel really is. A natural-born leader, the chances are seemingly against him at Wembley but that’s exactly when he thrives, so England got to be ready for an additional world-class display.