ELMANDER IN DANISH SWITCH

Johan Elmander signed a four-season contract with Danish table-toppers Brøndby IF in Copenhagen Wednesday. The 22-year-old striker has already undergone a medical. The Swede was looking for a new club and there was a great deal of interest. ‘Brøndby showed they wanted me, which was decisive in the end. This is a club with ambition. At this point in my career I want to play for prizes. I can do that at Brøndby.’

Johan Elmander arrived in Rotterdam during the winter break back in the 2000/2001 season. Despite high expectations the Swede was unable to gain a foothold in the first team. Competition from top marksman Pierre van Hooijdonk clearly didn’t help. ‘Obviously I’m disappointed I wasn’t entirely successful,’ admits Elmander. ‘There’s now little point searching for reasons, I prefer to have good memories of a great club and a city I felt at home in. The Feyenoord supporters have stolen my heart for good. It will be a wrench to leave, I assure you. I will certainly continue coming back and who knows what will happen in the future.’
 
‘I could have gone to FC Groningen, Heerenveen and Roda JC, but they weren’t an option for me. I’m not putting those clubs down, but in Holland Feyenoord was my dream. If that doesn’t come true I’d rather try another league. NAC Breda might have been an option, because I’m having a great time there at the moment and because the fans are very good to me. But NAC don’t have any money so that’s that. That’s why I waited to see what would come from abroad. There were some good clubs. Brøndby were the first to come with something specific and they gave me the best feeling.’  
 
Elmander doesn’t feel that the switch to Denmark is a step back. ‘Denmark and Holland are not too dissimilar. And Brøndby have a shot at the title and so Champions League football. I can learn a lot from that. All in all I’m still very young. Even if I stay in Denmark for the duration of my contract, I’d only be 27. That’s more than enough time to go on to better things. The club is ambitious and I stay in the picture for the bigger leagues and the Sweden national team. What’s more, Michael Laudrup is the coach here and he’s a legend in Scandinavia. I’m looking forward to working with him.’

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