During his playing days goalkeeping great Peter Schmeichel was known for barking orders at defenders and being an all-round tough competitor – but the Dane has revealed his cultural side in a visit to St. Petersburg.
Schmeichel was in Russia’s northern capital for the latest episode of The Peter Schmeical Show, where he showed off his impressive knowledge of classical music and even took the chance to tinkle the ivories with world-renowned Russian pianist Denis Matsuev.
Former Manchester United and Denmark ‘keeper Schmeichel revealed that one of his favorite classical pieces is piano concerto number two by legendary Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
After taking in a concert by maestro Matsuev – who is a big football fan and an official ambassador for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia – Schmeichel sat down to display his own musical talents.
The former goalkeeper showed that years of shot-stopping haven’t damaged his hands, tinkling some notes to the approval of a watching Matsuev.
The pair then teamed up for a rousing rendition of the famous Rachmaninoff concerto.
Matsuev himself revealed that his obsession with playing football had led to him breaking his hand three times in his youth – although he joked that it had actually made him play “much faster.”
Schmeichel, who was revered for being a tough competitor in his playing days, perhaps unsurprisingly said he likes Matsuev’s “aggressive” piano style – although the pianist himself described it more as “passionate.”
Passion was also the among the similarities that Matsuev pointed out apply to both music and football – as well as the notion of “playing for the audience.”
So, is Matsuev the Messi or Ronaldo of the piano world? “Maybe Maradona,” the pianist joked. Supporters heading to St. Petersburg this summer will be in for a footballing and cultural treat. Schmeichel visited the sights that will be a must for the more discerning fan – including the stunning Peterhof palace on the outskirts of the city, famed for its golden fountains.
St. Petersburg will host seven matches at this summer’s World Cup – including one semi-final and the third-place play-off – at the stunning new 67,000-seater St. Petersburg Stadium.
Check out other episodes of The Peter Schmeichel Show to get a unique insight into the other host cities at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.