World Cup hero Kasper tells DMU unusual way he handled Premier League-winning pressure

Leicester City hero Kasper Schmeichel has told De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students where he was the day his side won the Premier League – in the cinema, alone.

In a frank and insightful Q&A held at the university’s Watershed building – home of DMU Sport – the Danish international described the restlessness he felt during the build-up to the decisive Tottenham-Chelsea game on May 2, 2016.

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He said: “It was a horrible day. All the way up to it, I couldn’t be in my own skin. It was a long day and I tried to go out to my local village for dinner with the kids and they were finding it hilarious how tense I was.

“I didn’t watch any of the Tottenham game, I left my phone at home and went to the cinema on my own – I didn’t want people texting me.”

But later, while putting his children to bed, the 32-year-old heard from his wife that Tottenham were two goals up and decided to watch the second half, in which Chelsea scored twice, sealing the title win for the Foxes.

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Kasper said: “The relief was amazing. It’s hard to describe it; I don’t really know how to put into words the feeling of finally doing it.

“I had a picture taken in the box at Manchester United of me with the Premier League trophy when I was young and I have always had that with me, that was always my goal, so to achieve it was incredible.”

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After officially opening the £1m Watershed building – the training base for many of the university’s sports teams – the goalkeeper talked about his life and career with Martin Polley, DMU’s Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture.

The visit was part of DMU’s ongoing partnership with Leicester City, which sees the university as the club’s official higher education partner, bringing a wide range of benefits to staff and students.

Kasper talked about the drama and heroics of this summer’s World Cup, where he shone for the Danish side, saving a penalty from striker Luca Modric in the game, forcing a penalty shootout which – despite saves from Kasper – the Danes lost.

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Following the Modric save, he said he felt good but also on his guard.

He said: “It was a strange kind of feeling, You were pumped but you were thinking, ‘come on, let’s get a goal, let’s not go to penalties’.

“I had no real emotion going into the shootout. It was a case of trying to do a job. But (when we lost) it was a tough one to take.”

Answering numerous questions from students in the crowd – along with some from members of local youth side Studs FC, another DMU partner – Kasper talked about why he played football, his reaction to the tragic death of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his approach to the culture of celebrity.

He said: “Personally, I’m not a big fan of social media, or of smart phones in general but I recognise it’s a part of life. I don’t go in and look at social media because it’s noise; that’s all it is.

“I know the truth, I know what’s going on – I don’t need someone’s likes to feel good and I get satisfaction in my life from the things that are real.”

He also touched on the relationship he has with his father, Peter, an iconic Manchester United star who played for the club during an era during which the team won five Premier League championships.

Kasper said: “The way I grew up it was very normal to win the Premier League, for some reason so winning the title was something I always thought I would do.

“When I was 15 and I had decided to become a professional footballer, my dad and I decided we were not going to speak about that. I wanted him to be my dad, not my coach or mentor because that’s when you start having arguments about things. Family is bigger than football.”

Posted on Wednesday 5th December 2018

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