Mikkel Beck
Mikkel Venge Beck is a Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 former football player, who played for a number of clubs, most famously for Middlesbrough FC and Fortuna Koln. He scored 3 goals in 19 games for the Danish national team
Denmark national football team
The Denmark national football team represents Denmark in association football and is controlled by the Danish Football Association , the governing body for the football clubs which are organized under DBU...

, and represented Denmark at the international Euro 1996 and Euro 2000 tournaments.


Mikkel Beck is the son of a former Danish footballer, Carl Beck
Carl Beck
Carl Linnwood Beck was a professional football player from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After attending high school, Beck attended the West Virginia University, Bucknell University and Lafayette College. He made his professional debut in the National Football League in 1921 with the Buffalo...

 who played for AGF in the Danish 1st division in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He started his career with Danish lower league club Kolding IF
Kolding IF
Kolding IF is a Danish association football club based in Kolding, which plays in the Denmark Series. Founded in 1895, Kolding IF played in the top-flight 1982 and 1983 Danish 1st Division championships...

, before he played a single season in the Danish Superliga
Danish Superliga
The Danish Superliga is the current Danish football championship tournament, and administered by the Danish Football Association. It is the highest association football league in Denmark and is currently contested by 12 teams each year, with 2 teams to be relegated, which proves to be one of the...

 championship for B 1909. He moved abroad to play professionally for German 2nd Bundesliga club Fortuna Köln in 1993, 20 years old. Following a back injury
Back injury
Back injuries result from damage, wear, or trauma to the bones, muscles, or other tissues of the back. Common back injuries include sprains and strains, herniated disks, and fractured vertebrae. The lumbar is often the site of back pain. The area is susceptible because of its flexibility and the...

 which kept him out from August 1994 to February 1995, Beck scored in each of his first five games after recovery, and he received his first call-up for the Danish national team in May 1995. He scored three goals in his first six national team games and was subsequently voted the 1995 Danish Sports Talent of the Year. He was included in the Danish national squad for the Euro 1996 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where he played two games. Following the tournament, he was sold to English Premier League club Middlesbrough FC.
He joined Middlesbrough in the 1996-97 season
FA Premier League 1996-97
The 1996–97 FA Premier League season was the fifth season of the competition, since its formation in 1992. The majority of the season was contested by the reigning champions, Manchester United, along with Newcastle United, Arsenal and Liverpool...

, which ended in the club being relegated
Promotion and relegation
In many sports leagues around the world, promotion and relegation is a process that takes place at the end of each season. Through it, teams are transferred between divisions based on their performance that season...

 to the English First Division
Football League First Division
The First Division was a division of The Football League between 1888 and 2004 and the highest division in English football until the creation of the Premier League in 1992. The secondary tier in English football has since become known as the Championship....

, even though Middlesbrough reached the 1997 FA Cup final
FA Cup Final 1997
The 1997 FA Cup Final took place on 17 May 1997 at Wembley Stadium and was won by Chelsea with a 2–0 victory over Middlesbrough.Chelsea were attempting to win their first FA Cup final for 27 years, while Middlesbrough were contesting their first ever final...

. Beck stayed with the club, and was a part of the squad which won promotion
Promotion and relegation
In many sports leagues around the world, promotion and relegation is a process that takes place at the end of each season. Through it, teams are transferred between divisions based on their performance that season...

 to the Premier League the very next year. After 24 goals in 91 league matches for Middlesbrough, he moved to league rivals Derby County in March 1999 in a transfer deal worth £500,000.

He didn't find success with his new club, and never became an integrated part of the team. An indication of his success at Derby can be gauged by him being consistently voted in supporters poll's as the worst player ever to appear for Derby. Seeking playing time, Beck underwent loan deals to English lower league clubs. He signed a two-month loan deal to Nottingham Forest in November 1999, but after a month at the club, scoring once against Portsmouth, he was recalled to Derby, as the club experienced a lack of strikers. He sat a single match on the bench, before Derby bought Belgian striker Branko Strupar
Branko Strupar
Branko Strupar is a former Croatian-Belgian football striker. In 1999, he became a naturalised Belgian by marriage. He consequently played for the Belgium national football team with whom he played 17 matches and scored 5 times....

 and Beck was once more out of the team. He was then loaned out to Queens Park Rangers in February 2000, on a three month deal. Despite good play for QPR, Beck was once more recalled in April 2000, in order to go on loan at Danish Superliga club Aalborg Boldspilklub (AaB) for the rest of the 1999-2000 Superliga season
Danish Superliga 1999-2000
The 1999–2000 Danish Superliga season was the 10th season of the Danish Superliga league championship, governed by the Danish Football Association...


During his last year at Middlesbrough, and through the rest of his time in England, Beck had lost his place in the Danish national team. At AaB, he scored eight goals in ten matches and led the team to the Danish Cup
Danish Cup
The Danish Cup is the official "knockout" cup competition in Danish football, run by the Danish Football Association. The cup has been contested annually since 1955...

 final, and he was brought back to the Danish national team squad for the Euro 2000 in Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands. He played in two matches, and following the tournament he was bought by French Ligue 1
Ligue 1
Ligue 1 , is the French professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's primary football competition and serves as the top division of the French football league system. Ligue 1 is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 2....

 club OSC Lille for £500,000. Unhappy with Lille coach Vahid Halilhodžić
Vahid Halilhodžic
Vahid "Vaha" Halilhodžić is a former Bosnian football player and now a manager, currently managing the Algeria national football team....

' principle of rotating the players, Beck went on loan to AaB once again in February 2002. Hoping to be called up to the Danish national team for the 2002 World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, in repeat of his AaB loan in 2000, Beck was injured in the last months of the tournament and was not considered for the squad. Back at Lille, he suffered a string of injuries which kept him out of football for one and a half years. In September 2003, he was on a trial with Spanish side Córdoba CF
Córdoba CF
Córdoba Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. is a Spanish football team based in Córdoba, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded in 1954, it plays in Segunda División, holding home matches at Estadio Nuevo Arcángel, with a capacity of 18,280 seats....

, but he injured after two only trainings. In January 2004, he trained with English club Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace F.C.
Crystal Palace Football Club are an English Football league club based in South Norwood, London. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where they have been based since 1924. The club currently competes in the second tier of English Football, The Championship.Crystal Palace was formed in...

, but as injuries resurfaced during his stay at Palace, he did not get a contract and Beck retired.

Following his retirement, he became a player agent
Sports agent
A sports agent procures and negotiates employment and endorsement contracts for an athlete.In return, the sports agent generally receives between 4 and 10% of the athlete's playing contract, and 10 to 20% of the athlete's endorsement contract, though these figures vary...


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