The ex-Denmark striker has retired at the age of 33 and he will be remembered much more for the controversy he courted alternatively than the goals he scored
The occupation of Nicklas Bendtner can be summarised by a single sport at the 2012 European Championship.
In the team-phase fixture involving Denmark and Portugal, the Danes shed 3-2 but only after battling back degree from 2- down, thanks to a pair of well-taken headers from Bendtner.
The forward’s finishing drew minimal attention, however. Most of the media focus was on his celebration of his next goal, with Bendtner pulling down his shorts a little to expose the name of a bookmaker on his underpants.
The sponsorship was deemed unlawful by UEFA, who banned Bendtner for a single match and fined him £80,000 ($113,000) – even though the bookmaker in dilemma footed the bill – in a move that has due to the fact gone down in infamy, typically in contrast by fans to the European soccer governing body’s comparatively lax punishments for racism and other much extra heinous offences.
The entire affair was common Bendtner – who final 7 days introduced his retirement from actively playing at the age of 33 – because bizarre incidents, moments of towering ego and the standing of the forward as a ‘banter footballer’ clouded the actuality that he was, on his working day, a supremely talented player.
‘Lord Bendtner’, as he was nicknamed subsequent a marriage with a Danish socialite, emerged by way of the Arsenal academy system to create himself in the initial team, scored goals in the Leading League, in advance of later on successful titles in Italy and Norway.
He played 81 periods for Denmark, scoring 30 periods, that includes at the 2010 Earth Cup and Euro 2012. A later renaissance would have observed him picked for Russia 2018, but a groin damage ruled him out.
On paper, it all would make for an extraordinary vocation, but Bendtner’s life in soccer was in no way black and white.
Joining Arsenal aged 16, he broke into the senior squad in 2007-08 right after impressing the reserves. He scored nine targets in 40 appearances, such as a single on his Champions League debut, but he tasted controversy for the 1st time when Arsene Wenger tried out to companion him with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Bendtner and Adebayor never ever obtained on, the nadir coming in a 5-1 League Cup defeat to rivals Tottenham, in which they finished up combating on the pitch.
Remembering the incident previous calendar year, Bendtner explained: “He’s not definitely my cup of tea.
“I bear in mind him getting substituted on and I assume there was a essential minute the place I don’t imagine the ball experienced been handed to him. There was a heated exchange of text the place a whole lot was mentioned amongst us, and then we squared up.
“Then he kind of headbutted me, so he kind of pushed me away though headbutting me on the nose. Then, [William] Gallas came in, break up us up and took us apart.
“We tried to talk it by in the dressing room but not so a lot in terms, a lot more one thing else. Then, we obtained separated and called into the boss’ business office the subsequent day. We got fined and that was the conclude of it. We did not truly have any encounters at all from that minute.”
The pattern of Bendtner’s time at Arsenal was set – respectable footballing returns with madness by no means considerably away.
In 2009, Arsenal arrived at the Champions League semi-finals many thanks to a Bendtner hat-trick versus Porto. Hours immediately after the Gunners were crushed in the past-four 2nd-leg clash towards Manchester United, he was photographed leaving a nightclub with his trousers all over his ankles. He claimed his drink experienced been spiked.
These kinds of off-industry antics started to outweigh his on-subject performances in Wenger’s eyes and Bendtner fell down the pecking purchase at Arsenal. He was despatched on financial loan to Sunderland and Juventus, winning the Serie A title with the latter but failing to score in 11 matches.
His romance with Wenger grew to become bitter and distant, right until a unsuccessful transfer to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline working day in 2013 brought on factors to bubble above.
In his autobiography, Bendtner states: “It is right after 8pm when Wenger calls. He will get straight to the level. ‘I’m fearful your transfer is not heading to transpire. We have not been capable to obtain the striker we wished. So, you’re our back-up. Which is your occupation for the following year.’
“I hold up. I look at my agent, who shrugs his shoulders. Then, I get in touch with back again and I say a bunch of rather unsightly, disrespectful things. Like ‘a*shole’ and ‘w*nker.’ ‘We can not stand every other any more,’ I say. ‘It’d be very best if we parted techniques.’
“‘Well, Okay, that’s pretty feasible,’ Wenger replies in his major French accent. ‘It’s not heading to take place. See you at instruction.”‘
Bendtner admits he stepped about the line with Wenger, telling The Guardian last 12 months: “I feel if I had a solid figure in my qualifications, that could have built the difference, but Arsene and I had a excellent connection and I have large respect for him.
“I really do not blame him for something. He was usually truthful and he understands there are things I did that I’m not proud of.”
He departed Arsenal on a no cost transfer in 2014, shelling out two a long time in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg in advance of an underwhelming marketing campaign with Nottingham Forest.
Then came the renaissance: he joined Norwegian giants Rosenborg, aiding them to back-to-back again Eliteserien titles, profitable participant of the calendar year in both equally campaigns and experiencing his finest-ever scoring season in his very first 12 months (23 objectives in 44 matches).
He ongoing to court docket controversy, nevertheless, ranging from the comical – selling his household following staying spied on by a drone for the duration of a Harry Potter film marathon – to the fully unfunny – spending 50 times in jail after breaking a taxi driver’s jaw.
After a shorter spell with FC Copenhagen, Bendtner was without the need of a club from January 2020 right up until saying his retirement. A actuality Tv set series documenting his existence notwithstanding, it was a minimal-essential conclude to a vocation that was something but.
Tall, solid, multipurpose, fantastic in the air, fantastic with his feet, difficult doing work and a normal finisher, Bendtner was a quite fine footballer. Not that everyone will remember.
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