Søren Lerby

Søren Lerby

Lerby, photographed in 1978
Personal information
Full name Søren Lerby
Date of birth (1958-02-01) 1 February 1958
Place of birth Copenhagen, Denmark
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
B 1903
Taastrup IK
0000–1975 Fremad Amager
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975 Fremad Amager 13 (3)
1975–1983 Ajax 206 (66)
1983–1986 Bayern Munich 89 (22)
1986–1987 Monaco 27 (3)
1987–1990 PSV 81 (16)
Total 416 (110)
National team
1973–1975 Denmark U17 3 (0)
1974–1976 Denmark U19 14 (2)
1976–1977 Denmark U21 3 (0)
1978–1989 Denmark 67 (10)
Teams managed
1991–1992 Bayern Munich

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Søren Lerby (born 1 February 1958) is a Danish former football player, manager, and licensed agent. As a player, he spent most of his career in Dutch football, winning five Eredivisie championships with Ajax Amsterdam and two with PSV Eindhoven. With the latter club, he also won the 1988 European Cup. Moreover, he won two Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, and played one season for AS Monaco in France. He played 67 matches for the Denmark national football team from 1978 to 1989, and represented Denmark at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and two European Championship tournaments. Currently,he is the agent of SSC Napoli winger Dries Mertens.

Playing style

A left-footed midfielder, Lerby was a player who was always committed and a leader of the team. His commitment is attested to by the fact he chose to play two competitive matches in two different countries on a single day on 13 November 1985. First in the afternoon a World Cup qualifier with Denmark in Republic of Ireland, later in the evening a DFB-Pokal match with Bayern Munich against VfL Bochum.[1]

Lerby always played with his "socks down" – short socks or long socks rolled down but always without shin pads. This was quite uncommon of the day and would be against the rules today.


Club career

Lerby was born in Copenhagen, the son of former Danish under-21 football international Kaj Lerby. Lerby played his youth football with local clubs B 1903, Taastrup IK and Fremad Amager. He got his senior debut with Fremad Amager, as he 13 games and scored three goals in the top-flight 1975 1st Division season. He and Fremad Amager teammate Frank Arnesen moved abroad to become professional footballers in November 1975.

They switched to the Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam, with Lerby only being 17 years old. Lerby's first home game was a 4–1 against Go Ahead Eagles on 11 April 1976. He won three Dutch Eredivisie league titles in his first six years at Ajax, namely the 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80 championships. In the summer of 1981 he was named the new team captain, succeeding newly departed Frank Arnesen. In the two seasons Lerby was captain, Ajax won a further two Dutch championships with high goal differences.

He moved to Germany in 1983, where he was looking to replace German midfielder Paul Breitner at Bayern Munich. Here he remained for three years, winning two German Bundesliga championships and two DFB-Pokal cup trophies. His career continued for French team AS Monaco from 1986 to 1987.

Lerby moved back to the Netherlands in 1987 and was reunited with Frank Arnesen, now at Ajax' rivals PSV Eindhoven. He was a part of the 1988 European Cup winning PSV squad, also including fellow Danes Jan Heintze and Ivan Nielsen, Frank Arnesen being out with an injury for the final against S.L. Benfica. He ended his active career in 1990.

International career

While a youth player with Taastrup IK, Lerby was called up for the Danish under-17 national team in October 1973. He debuted for the Danish under-19 national team in April 1974, and represented the team at the 1974 and 1975 European Under-19 Football Championships. He also played three games for the Danish under-21 national team.

While at Ajax, he made his senior Danish national team debut against the Republic of Ireland in May 1978, scoring one goal in the 3–3 draw. Lerby was selected for the Danish national team at the 1984 European Championship, where he played full-time in Denmark's four matches, and scored a goal in the semi-final against Spain, which saw Denmark eliminated on penalty shoot-out. At the 1986 FIFA World Cup he played full-time in Denmark's four games, where he scored a goal in Denmark's 6–1 win against Uruguay. He was a part of the Danish squad for the 1988 European Championship.

Non-playing career

Between 9 October 1991 and 11 March 1992 he spent some time as coach with Bayern Munich, as successor of Jupp Heynckes. With a spell of undistinguished results, including a combined 6–3 UEFA Cup elimination by his former club B 1903, Lerby effectively ended his managerial career and became a FIFA-licensed sports agent (Essel Sports Managements).

Personal life

Lerby was married to Dutch singer and actress Willeke Alberti from 1981 to 1996. Together they have a son, Kaj, named after Lerby's father Kaj Lerby. Lerby was later married for a second time, with Arlette van der Meulen, and with her he had a second son and a daughter. He now lives in Laren, Netherlands.

Managerial statistics

As of 26 April 2013.
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Bayern Munich 9 October 1991 11 March 1992 17 5 5 7 26 29 −3 29.41



  1. "Im Porsche Richtung Bochum" (in German). 11 FREUNDE. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
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