Peter Schmeichel is one of the all time greats of Danish football, having led his country to winning the Euros in 1992. Now, he’s a brand ambassador for the STS gaming group, sharing lessons he’s learned over the years and reconnecting with his Polish roots. Our Becky Liggero Fontana caught up with him at ICE London 2019 to talk about that connection.
Schmeichel is grateful for the opportunities the betting industry gives to football, but noted that he was careful in which company he chose to partner with. “It’s no secret that, you know, the whole betting industry is an industry that gives opportunities for football. We see how many teams are sponsored by betting companies, but also individuals like me. I’m very, very careful, I don’t just jump into something for the money, there’s got to be some meaning to it. Of course when STS came around, and as you say, with my Polish roots, it was a really good opportunity for me to connect with my roots.”
By working with STS, Schmeichel is accomplishing something his father and he dreamed of doing together. “My father was Polish, I lost him last year, we never really had an opportunity to explore Poland,” he said. ‘”He escaped Poland, so Poland wasn’t really part of my upbringing and it’s only later on when I became an adult that he was sort of opening up to that. Me and my dad we had a deal that we were supposed to go to Poland and see his place, where he was from, basically he would take me through everything, but we never got to it. He became too ill, and connecting with the Polish brand was giving me that opportunity to connect a little bit with Poland. I’m quite happy with that so yeah, it’s a good partnership for me.”
Now, Schmeichel’s son Kasper is achieving a new dream of playing football at a high level, and Peter couldn’t be more supportive. “What means something to me is that whatever he picked, that was going to be his dreams, his goals that he was chasing that and achieving it. That was the most important thing for me. It’s just so happened to be football and the same thing that I did, and that’s great, it really is fantastic but I can sit there and watch my son do those things.”
Peter’s advice is not to give advice, and just provide the support and trust his son needs. “I don’t give him any advice in football,” he said. “I would never talk to him about how he’s playing, you know what, unless he asked me, and asked for my advice. We have a really, really good and very tight relationship, and I think by keeping it, keeping football at that kind of distance has helped this relationship.”