Christian Eriksen

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Christian Eriksen
20140904 - Christian Eriksen.jpg
Eriksen training with Denmark in 2014
Personal information
Full name Christian Dannemann Eriksen[1]
Date of birth (1992-02-14) 14 February 1992 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Middelfart, Denmark
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Tottenham Hotspur
Number 23
Youth career
1995–2005 Middelfart G&BK
2005–2008 OB
2008–2010 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Ajax 113 (25)
2013– Tottenham Hotspur 146 (34)
National team
2007–2009 Denmark U17 27 (9)
2009 Denmark U18 5 (1)
2009 Denmark U19 3 (1)
2011 Denmark U21 3 (1)
2010– Denmark 75 (21)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:38, 18 November 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:00, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Christian Dannemann Eriksen (born 14 February 1992) is a Danish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for English club Tottenham Hotspur and the Denmark national team. He made his debut for the Denmark national team in March 2010, and was the youngest player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[3][4]

In 2011, Eriksen was named Danish Football Player of the Year, Dutch Football Talent of the Year, Ajax Talent of the Year (Marco van Basten Award), and made the UEFA Euro U-21 Team of the Tournament.[5] He also won the Eredivisie with Ajax in 2010–11, 2011–12 and in 2012–13 before departing for Tottenham in August 2013 for a reported fee of around £11.5 million.[6] He won the Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year award for the 2013–14 season and in 2015 won his third consecutive Danish Football Player of the Year award.

Club career

Early career in Middelfart and Odense

Born in Middelfart, Denmark, Eriksen started playing football in his hometown before his third birthday. In 2005, he joined Odense Boldklub who competed in the Danish youth championships. In his debut season, OB lost in the semi-final against Brøndby IF but Eriksen was named "Best Technical Player" at the end of the tournament.[7] The following year OB won the tournament, with Eriksen scoring the only goal in the final.[8] After performing well for OB's U-16 team and later for the U-19 team and Danish U-17 team, major European football clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona were credited with an interest in Eriksen.[9] The player had trials with Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Milan, but finally decided to move to Ajax, stating, "My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option."[10]

Ajax

Youth and entrance in the first squad

On 17 October 2008 it was announced that Eriksen had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Amsterdam-based Ajax.[11] The transfer fee received by OB was estimated at €1 million (£847,199).[12] He worked his way through the youth teams, and was promoted to the first team squad in January 2010, where he was given the number 51 shirt.[13] Within the month, he made his first team debut for the Dutch team in the Eredivisie on 17 January 2010 against NAC Breda.[14] Ajax manager Martin Jol compared him to the likes of Ajax youth products Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart and described him as a good reader of the game in the traditional "number 10" role like the two Dutch internationals and Danish legend Michael Laudrup, who also played for Ajax.[13][15]

On 25 March 2010, Eriksen scored his first goal for Ajax in a 6–0 win against opponents Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch Cup. On 10 April, he extended his contract with Ajax until the summer of 2014, stating, "I can still learn a lot here, I'm not finished yet and I hope I can mean a lot for the club."[16] On 6 May, Eriksen played in the second match of the final of the 2009–10 Dutch Cup as Ajax beat Feyenoord 4–1, prevailing 6–1 on aggregate.[17] At the end of his first professional season at Ajax, Eriksen had played 21 competitive matches, scoring one goal, and had made his international debut for Denmark.[18][19] For his second season in the first team of Ajax, Eriksen was given the number 8 shirt.[20]

Breakthrough season

Eriksen (right) playing for Ajax in 2011

Eriksen began the 2010–11 season well, scoring his first Ajax league goal on 29 August 2010 in an away victory over De Graafschap.[21] On 11 November, he scored his first goal at the Amsterdam Arena, a 3–0 Cup victory over BV Veendam.[22] In December, Eriksen was named Danish "Talent of the Year."[23] Several days after receiving this award, Eriksen once again proved his value to Ajax by scoring the only goal in a 0–1 away league victory over Vitesse Arnhem.[24] On 17 February 2011, Eriksen scored his first goal in European competition, Ajax's second, when Ajax beat Anderlecht 3–0 in the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League.[25] On 13 March 2011, Eriksen scored a solo goal, running from the halfway line to finish it off with a strike to secure a 3–1 win over Willem II.[26]

During the rest of the season, Eriksen became more and more important for Ajax, due to his growing capabilities as the team's playmaker, providing many assists. After a good season during which he developed himself into an undisputed starter in the side that won the 2010–11 Eredivisie (Ajax's first Eredivisie title in seven years), he was named Ajax's Talent of the Year.[27] On 23 May 2011, he was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year, the second Danish player to win the award since Jon Dahl Tomasson in 1996. He was elected by a jury under command of Holland's all-time best player Johan Cruyff. "He's a player I really like with all my heart," Cruyff praised Eriksen. "This prize is just the beginning, a stimulus to get the maximum out of his career. The talent is there, the recognition also; now it is up to the player himself. He is a typical product of the Danish school. You can compare him with Brian and Michael Laudrup. Only time will tell if Eriksen can reach the same level as them."[28]

Rising influence in the squad

On 18 October 2011, Eriksen scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League when Ajax beat Dinamo Zagreb 2–0 in the group stage, making him the second-youngest player to score in the 2011–12 Champions League season. In the second match against Dinamo on 2 November, he provided assists to Gregory van der Wiel and Siem de Jong as well as being involved with the third goal; Ajax cruised to a 4–0 victory.[29] He was named Danish Football Player of the Year on 7 November after helping Ajax win the Eredivisie the previous year and guiding the Danish national team to a successful UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign, after receiving the award Eriksen said, "I am extremely honoured to be standing here tonight. I did not expect it, it really means a lot to me. I would like to thank my team-mates in the national team as well as my team-mates at Ajax."[30] Following the success of Eriksen's third consecutive Eredivisie title in the 2012–13 season, he opted not to renew his contract with Ajax, and with one year still remaining on his current contract, he was permitted to search for a new club. Having come to terms with Tottenham Hotspur in England, Eriksen left Ajax having appeared in 113 league matches, scoring 25 goals and 41 assists. He played in 16 matches for the KNVB Cup, scoring four goals and making four assists. He made 30 appearances on the continental stage for Ajax, scoring three goals, and making nine assists all together. Having also competed in the Johan Cruijff Shield three years in a row.[31]

Tottenham Hotspur

2013–14 season

Eriksen playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2014

On 30 August 2013, Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had completed the transfer of Eriksen from Ajax[32] in a deal believed to be worth £11 million ($12.45 million), after Eriksen passed a medical at the club. Eriksen joined the club on the same day as Érik Lamela, who joined from Roma, and Vlad Chiricheș, who joined from Steaua București, and took the club's total spending for the 2013 summer transfer window to £109.5 million.[33]

On 14 September 2013, he made his Premier League debut against Norwich City, providing an assist for Gylfi Sigurðsson.[34] Spurs manager André Villas-Boas commented, "It was a great debut for Christian, he is a pure number 10, a creative player and his individual quality made all the difference."[35]

On 19 September 2013, Eriksen "clipped a wonderful dipping shot" over the goalkeeper to score his first Tottenham goal and complete a 3–0 win over Tromsø IL in the Europa League.[36] He added to his Tottenham goal tally with a goal from a free kick in a 1–1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day 2013, and the second goal in Spurs' 1–2 away win against Manchester United on 1 January 2014.[37] On 23 March, after goals from Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana had given Southampton a 0–2 lead against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Eriksen scored twice to level the score and assisted Gylfi Sigurðsson to score the winning goal.[38]

On 12 April 2014, Eriksen scored a stoppage-time equalizer as Tottenham came from 3–0 down to draw 3–3 at West Brom.[39] By the end of the season, he had scored seven goals in the Premier League.

2014–15 season

Eriksen playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2016

Throughout the 2014–15 campaign, Eriksen played an integral part in many Spurs victories. The Danish international had a habit of scoring late winners, most notably against Swansea City, Sunderland, Hull City and many others.

On 10 January 2015, Eriksen was voted Danish Football Player of the Year twice in a row, making him the first player to do so since William Kvist.[40]

On 28 January 2015, Eriksen completed his greatest performance of the campaign in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Sheffield United to send Tottenham into the League Cup Final.[41] His first goal, a 30-yard curling free kick, was lauded by the likes of Michael Owen and Gary Neville among others on Twitter.[42] Despite a late threat from the Blades, Eriksen then scored a second late-on to send Spurs to Wembley.

Eriksen completed the 2014–15 campaign having featured in every Premier League game for Mauricio Pochettino. The Dane became the third Spurs player to reach double figures in the league, alongside Nacer Chadli and Harry Kane, scoring ten goals.

On 9 June 2015, Eriksen confirmed to Danish media whilst on international duty that he would stay at Tottenham for the foreseeable future. Eriksen was quoted as saying, "I feel right at home at Tottenham and I haven't thought about leaving yet."[43]

2016–17 season

During the 2016–17 season, Eriksen starred once again for Tottenham, scoring eight goals and assisting a further fifteen as the club ended the league campaign as runners-up to champions Chelsea.[44] Eriksen's tally for assists was bettered only by Man City's Kevin De Bruyne who set up 18 goals for the season.[45] Eriksen also recorded the joint-most assists in the FA Cup and later won the Tottenham Player of the Season award, claiming the award for the second time after previously winning it in his debut season with the club.[46][47]

International career

Eriksen playing for Denmark at UEFA Euro 2012

Youth squads

Eriksen was called up to the Denmark national under-17 football team in July 2007,[48] and impressed in his debut for the team on 31 July.[49] In 2008, he scored nine goals in 16 games for the U-17s, and was named Danish U-17 Talent of the Year by the Danish FA.[50] He was also one of four nominees for the 2008 Danish Talent of the Year award,[51] which was won by Mathias Jørgensen.[50] He played 27 games for the under-17 team until February 2009. He played a total of eight games for the Denmark U-18 and Denmark U-19 teams during 2009. Eriksen was also called up for the Danish U-21 squad to the European championship in Denmark in 2011, the Danish team only participated in the group stage and Eriksen scored a goal against Belarus.

Senior squad

Eriksen received his first senior Denmark call-up in February 2010,[52] making his debut in Denmark's friendly match against Austria in March,[19] to become Denmark's fourth youngest full international, being the youngest debutant since Michael Laudrup.[53]

On 28 May 2010, Denmark coach Morten Olsen announced that Eriksen would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[54] He was the youngest player participating in the tournament.[3][4] At the World Cup, Eriksen played two matches, against the Netherlands and Japan, but Denmark were unable to progress beyond the group stage.[55][56]

On 9 February 2011, in a 1–2 friendly loss at home against England, Eriksen was named Man of the Match, and was praised for his performance by a number of prominent footballing figures, including Chelsea star Frank Lampard,[57] Man Utd star Rio Ferdinand (on Twitter),[58] manager Morten Olsen and several media experts in Denmark and England.[59] On 4 June 2011, Eriksen scored his first national team goal to give Denmark a 2–0 lead over Iceland in their Euro 2012 qualifier. In doing so, he became the youngest Danish player ever to score a goal in European qualification, being nine days younger than Michael Laudrup when he scored his first goal in 1983.[60]

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

In the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Denmark were drawn in UEFA Group E alongside the likes of Poland and Romania. Eriksen played a key-role during the nation's qualification campaign during which time he scored eight goals to earn Denmark a play-off against the Republic of Ireland.[61] The first leg of the play-off ended in a 0–0 home draw before Eriksen netted a hat-trick in Ireland in a 5–1 win to earn Denmark a spot at the World Cup.[62] Eriksen's treble took his tally to 11 goals for the qualification campaign, bettered only by Poland's Robert Lewandowski (16) and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (15) in Europe, and earned the praise of national team manager Age Hareide who stated that Eriksen was one of the top 10 players in the world.[63]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 1 November 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ajax 2009–10[18] Eredivisie 15 0 4 1 2[a] 0 21 1
2010–11[18] Eredivisie 28 6 6 1 12[b] 1 1[c] 0 47 8
2011–12[18] Eredivisie 33 7 2 0 8[d] 1 1[c] 0 44 8
2012–13[18] Eredivisie 33 10 4 2 8[d] 1 45 13
2013–14[18] Eredivisie 4 2 1[c] 0 5 2
Total 113 25 16 4 30 3 3 0 162 32
Tottenham Hotspur 2013–14[64] Premier League 25 7 1 0 1 0 9[a] 3 36 10
2014–15[65] Premier League 38 10 2 0 4 2 4[a] 0 48 12
2015–16[66] Premier League 35 6 4 1 1 0 7[a] 1 47 8
2016–17[67] Premier League 36 8 3 1 1 2 8[e] 1 48 12
2017–18[68] Premier League 10 3 0 0 1 0 3[f] 1 14 4
Total 144 34 10 2 8 4 31 6 193 46
Career total 257 59 26 6 8 4 61 9 3 0 356 78
  1. ^ a b c d Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Eight appearances in UEFA Champions League, four appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ a b c Appearance in Johan Cruyff Shield
  4. ^ a b Six appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, two appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  6. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League

International

As of match played 14 November 2017[69]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Denmark 2010 10 0
2011 10 2
2012 11 0
2013 11 2
2014 7 1
2015 8 1
2016 9 6
2017 9 9
Total 75 21

International goals

As of match played 14 November 2017. Denmark score listed first, score column indicates score after each Eriksen goal.[18]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 4 June 2011 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland 14  Iceland 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
2 10 August 2011 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 15  Scotland 1–1 1–2 Friendly
3 5 June 2013 Nordjyske Arena, Aalborg, Denmark 35  Georgia 2–1 2–1 Friendly
4 14 August 2013 Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland 37  Poland 1–1 2–3 Friendly
5 22 May 2014 Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen, Hungary 43  Hungary 1–1 2–2 Friendly
6 8 June 2015 Viborg Stadion, Viborg, Denmark 52  Montenegro 1–1 2–1 Friendly
7 7 June 2016 Suita City Football Stadium, Suita, Japan 61  Bulgaria 2–0 4–0 2016 Kirin Cup
8 3–0
9 4–0
10 4 September 2016 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark 63  Armenia 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 11 November 2016 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark 66  Kazakhstan 2–1 4–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 4–1
13 6 June 2017 Brøndby Stadium, Brøndby, Denmark 68  Germany 1–0 1–1 Friendly
14 10 June 2017 Almaty Central Stadium, Almaty, Kazakhstan 69  Kazakhstan 2–0 3–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
15 1 September 2017 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark 70  Poland 4–0 4–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
16 4 September 2017 Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia 71  Armenia 2–1 4–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
17 5 October 2017 City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro 72  Montenegro 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
18 8 October 2017 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark 73  Romania 1–0 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
19 14 November 2017 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland 75  Republic of Ireland 2–1 5–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
20 3–1
21 4–1

Honours

Club

Ajax

Individual

References

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External links

  • Christian Eriksen profile at the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. website
  • Christian Eriksen profile at the Danish Football Association website
  • Christian Eriksen at Soccerbase
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