Kenneth Pérez Dahl Jensen (born 29 August 1974) is a Danish former professional football player. Perez scored two goals in 24 matches for the Danish national team from 2003 to 2008, and he was chosen to compete at the 2004 European Championship.
|Full name||Kenneth Pérez Dahl Jensen|
|Date of birth||29 August 1974|
|Place of birth||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Kenneth Perez was born on 29 August 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark, as Kenneth Perez Dahl Jensen. He is married to Britt Perez. They have two sons. In 1997 his girlfriend Britt moved together with him from Denmark to the Netherlands, and a few years later, they married.
Perez started his career for Danish club Akademisk Boldklub, where he reached the 1995 Danish Cup final. The final was lost to F.C. Copenhagen, with whom Perez signed a two-year contract in autumn that year. He played two years for F.C. Copenhagen, and Perez was a part of the team which won the 1997 Danish Cup. With months left of his contract, he moved abroad in August 1997, to play for Dutch Eredivisie side MVV. Perez scored goals frequently for MVV, and his dribbling ability was regarded as one of the best in the Eredivisie. With his contract nearing expiry, he looked to leave the club in winter 1999. Dutch clubs Roda JC and AZ wanted to buy Perez, and he eventually penned a 5½-year contract with AZ starting from January 2000.
He made his debut for the Danish national team under manager Morten Olsen in November 2003. He came on as a substitute to replace Dennis Rommedahl in the 3–2 victory against England. He was selected to represent Denmark at the 2004 European Championship, where he took part in one match, coming on as a substitute.
Often playing on the left winger, Perez was the most technical of AZ's prolific strike force during the 2004–05 season. He was AZ's top goal scorer in that season, as he fired 13 goals past opposition goalkeepers, and was the joint 9th best league goal scorer. The club finished in third place that season, and ended second in the 2005–06 season. After six and a half years at AZ, Perez transferred to rival Eredivisie side Ajax in the summer 2006. He subsequently ended his national team career to focus on playing for Ajax. Since his debut in November 2003, Perez played 19 national team matches, though he was either substituted on or off the pitch, and never played a full national team match.
He won the Dutch Super Cup trophy with Ajax, beating PSV 3–1 in August 2006. In December 2006, Perez admitted having used a racial slur against an assistant referee. He publicly apologized to the assistant referee and received a five-match ban and a €12,500 fine.
On 31 December 2007, it was announced Perez would make a shock return to Ajax with immediate effect. He signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with an option for another season.
On 1 January 2008, Jan Reker, the technical director of PSV was forced to give an explanation. He stated that after Ajax failed to lure Ismail Aissati to Amsterdam, Perez requested PSV for a transfer back to Amsterdam. According to Reker, Perez cited two reasons. Commuting from his home in Noord-Holland to Eindhoven on a daily basis was felt to be a burden and the limited chances given to him by interim coach Jan Wouters after Ronald Koeman left.
These remarks were later dismissed by Perez and Martin van Geel, the technical director of Ajax. Perez stated it was in fact PSV who initiated the transfer by telling Perez he no longer had a future at the club after just four months. Ajax, on the other hand, was still looking for a replacement for star midfield player Wesley Sneijder who was sold to Real Madrid and saw Ten Cate leave for Chelsea last September thus paving the way for Perez to move back to Amsterdam. Van Geel added that Ajax only wanted to buy Aissati last summer and he had no part in this transfer.
Perez was relegated to the Ajax reserves in the summer of 2008 by new Ajax head coach Marco van Basten He was released at the end of August. and later on July was transferred to Steve McClaren's FC Twente.
In January 2010, Perez marked himself as the player with the second most assists and goals in Dutch football through the past decade. The only player above him was Dirk Kuyt. On 2 May 2010, Perez won his first Eredivisie title, coincidentally also the first title of his club FC Twente, at the age of 35 years. It was his last match in a FC Twente jersey.
- "Kenneth Perez går trænervejen i Ajax". bold.dk. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Dansk Æresdivisions-legende fravælger trænerjob". dbold.dk. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Fox Sports: Onze analisten". foxsports.nl. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- IMDb biography
- Kenneth Pérez: 'Toda mi familia española animará a Dinamarca' · Fútbol · Deportes · Terra
- "Perez completes PSV switch". uefa.com. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- "Perez No Longer Needed at Ajax". Goal.com. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Ajax en Kenneth Perez uit elkaar" (in Dutch). Ajax.nl. 28 August 2008. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Perez hyldes i Holland". bold.dk. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Kenneth Pérez » Club matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 24 November 2017.