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Laudrup resigns as coach of Brondby

COPENHAGEN, May 22 (Reuters) - Former Denmark great Michael Laudrup has resigned as manager of Brondby after four years at the helm, saying he is ready to take on bigger challenges abroad.

Laudrup, who played for Brondby, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid in an illustrious career, won the superleague title with the Danish club last year.

Danish media have speculated the 41-year-old Laudrup could be in the running to be the new Real Madrid coach after the Spanish team ended their third season in a row without a major trophy.

'Whether I am prepared (to coach a big European club) I can not say, but I have the desire for the biggest challenge if it should appear,' Laudrup told Danish daily Politiken on Monday.

'I am ready for the next step and whatever happens it will be exciting. I have been following international football and know a lot of thinks have changed since I played.'

Laudrup, who many Danes regard as the best Danish footballer ever, took over as Brondby coach in 2002 after working as an assistant to national team coach Morten Olsen.

In his four years with the capital club he won the superleague once and the Danish cup twice. This year Brondby finished second in the first division behind arch rivals FC Copenhagen.

According to Danish media, Laudrup was ready to sign a new deal with Brondby but wanted a longer contract than the club would offer. The club also turned down Laudrup's wish for a release clause.

Laudrup's assistant John Jensen, the former Brondby and Arsenal player, has also left the club.