An influential and combative midfielder, Poulsen has a habit of attracting controversy.In June 2007, he punched Sweden’s Markus Rosenberg in the stomach during the final minute of a European Championship qualifier, with the score at 3-3.
Poulsen was sent off, prompting a Denmark fan to run onto the pitch and attempt to attack referee Herbert Fandel. The match was abandoned, and Sweden were subsequently awarded a 3-0 win.
Uefa banned Poulsen for three international matches, and a Danish government minister called for him to be banned from the Denmark side altogether.
Poulsen issued a public apology and was recalled by boss Morten Olsen when his suspension was completed.
The Juventus man is far from popular with many fans in Italy. During Euro 2004, Italy’s Francesco Totti was sent off after spitting at Poulsen, claiming afterwards that he had been provoked by him.
The following year, Poulsen caused outrage after kicking Kaka while playing for German side Schalke in a Champions League match against AC Milan.
Afterwards, Poulsen was labelled “a coward” by the then Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti, and Kaka declared that “Poulsen’s style of football is not just.” At the end of the second leg, he was involved in an angry confrontation with Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.
He suffered a broken fibula while playing for Juventus against AC Milan in January, but made a swift recovery and featured against Fulham in the Europa League in March.
He was told by Juve last summer that he was not part of their plans, but was unwilling to leave. Juve signed him in 2008 from Sevilla, where he spent two seasons and helped them win the Uefa Cup. Before that, he spent four years with Schalke.
Poulsen was Denmark’s player of the year in 2005 and 2006, making him the first man to win the award two years in a row. Poulsen and Dennis Rommedahl were the only players to feature in all 10 of the World Cup qualifiers.
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