Rygaard with Lyngby in 2017
|Full name||Mikkel Rygaard Jensen|
|Date of birth||25 December 1990|
|Place of birth||Nykøbing Falster, Denmark|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Nykøbing Falster Alliancen|
|2010–2012||Lolland Falster Alliancen||62||(17)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 November 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 November 2019
After starting his career as a talent of Herfølge and later English Championship club Charlton Athletic, Rygaard played multiple season in the lower divisions of Danish football. Most notable was his stint at Næstved, where he made 155 appearances and scored 38 competitive goals which earned him a "Player of the Year" Award of the Danish 2nd Divisions in 2014. In January 2016, Rygaard signed for Lyngby in the Danish 1st Division, and helped the team win promotion to the Danish Superliga the same year. His performances earned him the 2016 Danish 1st Division "Player of the Year" award. In February 2018, Rygaard joined FC Nordsjælland on a free transfer as economically troubled Lyngby failed to pay player salaries.
Rygaard has also made international appearances for Denmark at U18, U19 and U20-level.
Born in Nykøbing Falster, Rygaard began his youth career at local side Nykøbing Falster Alliancen before transferring to the academy of Herfølge BK in 2005. After progressing through the youth ranks, he was invited for a trial at English Championship club Charlton Athletic after they had previously signed fellow Herfølge-talent, Martin Christensen. The trial eventually resulted in a two-year contract with the club, and Rygaard was placed on the Charlton U18 team for his first season. During his time in Charlton, Rygaard played two friendly matches for the first team under head coach Alan Pardew.
Return to Denmark
On 30 January 2009, after one and a half season in Charlton, Rygaard returned to Herfølge, despite having an offer to play for Sparta Prague. On 3 December 2009, Rygaard was notified by general manager, Per Rud, and head coach, Auri, that his contract, running to July 2010, would not be extended and that they would listen to offers from other clubs during the winter transfer window. After failing to find a new club, he left the club by mutual agreement in March 2010.
After his contract was terminated, Rygaard started playing as an amateur for non-league side B.1921 while having a job on the side. After scoring 13 goals in 12 appearances for B.1921 he was signed on a two-year deal by his first youth club, now called Lolland Falster Alliancen, who played in the Danish 2nd Divisions. Eventually, he earned a semi-professional contract at LFA, playing regularly throughout two seasons and becoming a profile on the team.
Rygaard signed with Næstved BK in the summer of 2012. He was awarded the Danish 2nd Divisions Player of the Year Award in 2014 for his performances. Rygaard played for the club for three and a half years, making 115 appearances in which he scored 38 goals.
Rygaard's impressive performances for Næstved in the first months after their promotion to the Danish 1st Division resulted in interest from clubs in the top table of the 1st Division, as well as from clubs in the Danish Superliga. On 26 January 2016, he joined Lyngby BK. His first year in the club was highly successful, winning the 2016 Danish 1st Division Player of the Year Award and Lyngby reaching promotion to the Superliga.
During a tumultuous 2017–2018 season, where Lyngby fought relegation and their financial situation worsened, Rygaard left the club after not receiving his salary for seven days in February.
Rygaard is a former Danish youth international, making several appearances on under-18, under-19 and under-20 level.
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