His incredible talent had taken him from Brondby in his native Denmark to Italy with Lazio and Juventus before stints at Spain's big two, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
And it was in the Spanish capital where he was pondering his future over some posh grub in a fancy restaurant.
Laudrup was discussing leaving Spain when King Juan Carlos I appeared at his shoulder. He had been sitting a few tables away and overheard the conversation, prompting him to walk over to the Real Madrid star.
“That’s good news,” he whispered in the player's ear. “I’ll be the only King in Madrid again.”