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Martin Laursen

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The highly rated Swedish defender joined Aston Villa in 2004 from AC Milan for £3 million and slowly became a legend with the supporters, due to his no nonsense style of play and passion for the club. However a knee injury suffered earlier in his career resurfaced in his opening few seasons in England and he ended up missing more than games than he played in his first 24 months at Villa. However, late in 2006 Laursen returned from rehabilitation and Martin O’Neill only allowed him to train when he felt right but this still enabled him to become a key member of the side. Eventually Laursen became club captain in 2008, but later that year suffered a major knee problem again which would rule him out for 10 months. Half way through his treatment Laursen announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.

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