Driven, disciplined and relentless in pursuit of perfection, VfB Stuttgart's William Kvist captures the ideal traits of a model professional and the Denmark midfielder is now reaping the rewards as an established name in Germany's top flight.
Since leaving FC København in 2011 – where he made 181 Super League appearances over seven years – Kvist has overcome the trials and tribulations of life in the Bundesliga, missing just one league game during his debut season last term. "The German league is very physical. You have to stand up to the challenge," he explained. "You are given no time on the ball, and the pace of the game is so quick."
Named Denmark's player of the year in 2010, Kvist's footballing education began 18 years earlier at FCK's traditional feeder club, Kjøbenhavns Boldklub. Even as an eight-year-old apprentice, Kvist knew his strengths lay within the artistic bounds of central midfield. However, the ambitious youngster would make his top-flight debut for FCK in a full-back role he would later perform at international level.
A desire to feature in midfield was eventually fulfilled and coincided with FCK's unprecedented 2009/10 campaign. Under the stewardship of coach Ståle Solbakken, the capital outfit lifted the league title and became the first Danish side to reach the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League.
Memories of that achievement came flooding back when Kvist returned to FCK in Stuttgart colours on 8 November, helping the Bundesliga side to a 2-0 win in UEFA Europa League Group E. "It was a very special occasion and it was marvellous to go back where it all started," he said. "I will always be a fan and nothing has changed since I left the club." His emotions were reciprocated as a giant banner reading "Welcome home King William" stretched across one end of the ground.
The combative player, capped 35 times by Denmark, has never shirked a tackle and his next test will be to haul 12th-placed Stuttgart up the Bundesliga. Qualifying from Group E may come a little easier, though, with Bruno Labbadia's charges in second, one point above FCK with two games remaining.
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