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Allan Rodenkam Simonsen (born 15 December 1952) is a former Danishmarker football player and manager. He most prominently played for Germanmarker team Borussia Mönchengladbach, winning the 1975 and 1979 UEFA Cups, as well as for FC Barcelona from Spainmarker, winning the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup. Allan Simonsen is the only footballer to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners' Cup finals, and he was named 1977 European Footballer of the Year.

For the Denmark national football team, Simonsen was capped 55 times, scoring 20 goals. He represented Denmark at the 1972 Summer Olympics, 1984 European Championship and 1986 World Cup tournaments.

Biography

Born in Vejlemarker, he got his senior debut for Vejle Boldklub (VB) in 1971. He won the 1971 and 1972 Danish championship with the club, as well as the 1972 Danish Cup to complete "The Double". He debuted for the Danish national team under manager Rudi Strittich in the July 1972 friendly match against Iceland. He scored two goals as Denmark won 5-2, and Simonsen was included in the Danish squad for the 1972 Summer Olympics. At the Olympics, he scored three goals in the first three matches to help Denmark advance beyond the first group stage. In the second group stage, Simonsen ran out of steam and he was substituted at half time in two of the last three games as Denmark were eliminated.

Following the impressive three goals in six matches at his first international tournament, Simonsen moved to Germany to play professionally for Borussia Mönchengladbach. His first time at the club was no success, but he eventually broke into the starting formation. Mönchengladbach won the 1975 German Bundesliga championship as well as the continental 1975 UEFA Cup, where Simonsen scored two goals in the finals. Mönchengladbach won another Bundesliga title in 1976, and completed "The Double" by winning the 1976 German Cup as well.

1977 was the greatest year in Simonsen's career. Mönchengladbach won its third Bundesliga title in a row, and reached the final of the 1977 European Cup. Simonsen scored to level the game at 1-1, but Mönchengladbach eventually lost 3-1 to Englishmarker team Liverpool FC. He was subsequently named the 1977 "European Footballer of the Year", as the first Danish player. The race for the award was tight, and Simonsen squeezed past English midfielder Kevin Keegan by three points and Frenchmarker midfielder Michel Platini by four points to win the prestigious prize. The win was notable, in that Simonsen's native Denmark was not among the top footballing nations in the 1970s, leaving him little room to impress at the international tournaments.

He won another UEFA Cup trophy with Mönchengladbach in 1979, where he scored the deciding goal in the finals, before he moved on to play for Spanish club FC Barcelona. Here he won the 1981 Spanish Cup as well as the continental 1982 Cup Winners' Cup trophy where Simonsen scored one goal in the 2-1 Barcelona victory. When Barcelona signed Argentinianmarker forward Diego Maradona in 1982, Spanish league restrictions on the number of foreign players allowed in each squad, forced Barcelona to sell the popular Dane. He was transfer listed, and in a shock move switched to English Second Division side Charlton Athletic for £300,000 in 1983. Despite scoring nine times in 16 appearances, the club had trouble funding his wages, and he was put up for sale. Rejecting offers from Tottenham Hotspur and several Italian Serie A teams, he chose to return to childhood club Vejle BK in 1983 .

He played a crucial part for the Danish national team under manager Sepp Piontek, in Denmark's qualifying campaign for the 1984 European Championship. Denmark led their qualifying group with a single point over second placed England before the two teams met at England's home ground Wembley Stadiummarker in September 1983. Simonsen scored one of the most important Danish goals ever, as he converted a penalty kick against English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The 1-0 win eventually secured the Danish national team qualification for their first international tournament since the 1972 Olympic Games, and the first European Championship participation since the 1964 tournament. It effectively ended England's hopes of qualification for the tournament. [118710]

He subsequently finished third in the vote for the 1983 "European Footballer of the Year" award.

The 1984 European Championship main tournament was a short experience for Simonsen, as he broke his leg in a challenge by Yvon Le Roux in Denmark's first match against France. Even without Simonsen, Denmark reached the semi-finals. He missed the last half of the season for Vejle because of his injury, but the club managed to win the 1984 Danish championship without him. He was once more a part of the Danish national team at the 1986 World Cup, Denmark's first World Cup participation. He only played a single match at the tournament, coming on as a substitute, as younger players had surpassed him. He played a farewell match against Germany in September 1986 before ending his national team career. He played on for Vejle, until he retired from football in 1989 at age 37. He played a total 282 games and scored 104 goals for Vejle.

Following his retirement, he went on to coach his former club Vejle BK for two years. He later coached the national teams of the Faroe Islands from 1994 to 2001 and Luxembourg from 2001 to 2004.

Allan Simonsen was voted into the Danish Football Hall of Fame on the 17th of November, 2008.

Honours

Domestic
European


Footnotes



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