Former-Danish international Nicklas Bendtner announced his retirement this Thursday 4th June, forming an epilogue to a player who went from being one of Arsenal’s promising young stars to one of the biggest disappointments in European football over the last decade.
The life of the giant that is Nicklas Bendtner could have been very different, had he not controlled badly the ball that was gifted to him by Javier Mascherano in the 2010/11 Champions League quarter finals.
More specifically, Arsenal would have eliminated Barca, he would have become a cult hero of the ‘Gunners’ and his spot as Wenger’s main man up top would have been secured.
But the striker, with as much good technique as he had lack of goal-scoring nouse, made a poor touch and in doing so earned a spot in Barcelona’s history, his entrance ending up being decisive for the Catalan side’s later title.
From that point onwards, Bendtner would hardly play at all for Arsenal. Wenger offloaded him in 2011/12 (to Sunderland) and 2012/13 (Juventus), before he came back to play just 387 minutes in the 2013/14 campaign.
If one were to look solely at his sporting achievements, the player’s story would be one of a promising talent that never lived up to expectations – one of many. In fact, Bendtner made much more noise off the pitch than he ever did on it.
Wishing a happy retirement to Lord Bendtner! 🇩🇰 👑 pic.twitter.com/H11y0RnwF9
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 3, 2021
Star off the pitch
His wayward life outside of footbal reached its peak when he began a relationship with the Baroness of the Danish Royal Family Caroline Iuel-Brockdorff – with whom he had a child – at which point he started becoming known as ‘Lord’.
Beyond his fight with Adebayor – which would remain a mere anecdote after everything that came after it – Bendtner was arrested for breaking a taxi driver’s jaw after a night partying in 2018.
That wasn’t his only episode on the motorway. In 2014, drunk, he threatened a taxi driver with rape, before one year later being arrested for driving three times over the limit.
His aggression towards the taxi driver earned him 50 days in jail – which he did at home – although he still had to comply by wearing the infamous electronic ankle tag which criminals have to wear.
The goodbye he received from Copenhagen just over a year ago confirmed the meme that he had become in recent years. In it, the Danish club spoke about his humour and the help he offered at training as well as day-to-day at the club.
Still just 31-years-old, ‘Lord’ Bendtner might still have had something to say with a ball at his feet, as he tried out his luck in Denmark’s fourth division. This was in vane, however, as the 4th June 2021 marked the end of a famous yet rather strange footballing career.