Christian Dannemann Eriksen (Danish pronunciation: [ˈkʰʁestjæn ˈe̝ːʁeksn̩]; born 14 February 1992) is a Danish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Denmark national team. Eriksen is also capable of playing as a central midfielder or mezzala in a 4–3–3 system.
Eriksen playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2016
|Full name||Christian Dannemann Eriksen|
|Date of birth||14 February 1992|
|Place of birth||Middelfart, Denmark|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Attacking midfielder|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:50, 1 August 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:00, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
Eriksen started his career at Dutch side Ajax, where he won the Eredivisie in 2010–11, 2011–12, and in 2012–13 and established himself to comparisons with Michael Laudrup for his traditional "number 10" role. In 2014, Eriksen joined Tottenham and was named the club's Player of the Year in his debut season. During his seven years at the club, he was also named the club's Player of the Year in the 2016–17 season and was included in the 2017–18 PFA Team of the Year. In the 2018–19 season, Eriksen became only the second player after David Beckham to record 10+ assists in four successive Premier League seasons and was a key member of the side that reached the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final. In January 2020, he signed for Inter Milan.
Eriksen made his debut for Denmark in March 2010 and was the youngest player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Eriksen played a key-role during the nation's qualification campaign. Denmark reached the Round of 16, where they were defeated by Croatia after a penalty shoot-out. Eriksen has been named the Danish Football Player of the Year a record five times.
Early career in Middelfart and OdenseEdit
Born in Middelfart, Denmark, Eriksen followed in his father Thomas' footsteps when he started playing football in the academy of local side, Middelfart G&BK. Eriksen's father was also one of the coaches at the time and in 2004 they helped the youth side finish unbeaten in the local youth championship for the third time in a period of four years. The following year, he joined Odense Boldklub who competed in the Danish youth championships and within a year had helped the club to an age-group title. It was at OB that Eriksen first began showing signs of his technical ability, with his dribbling and free-kick techniques lauded by then-coach, Tonny Hermansen. His form at youth level attracted the attention of a number of major European clubs, including the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona. Eriksen ultimately underwent trials with both clubs as well as 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."
2008–2010: Youth and first-team squadEdit
On 17 October 2008, Eriksen signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Amsterdam-based club, Ajax. The transfer fee received by OB was estimated at €1 million (£847,199) while Middelfart also received a sum of €35 000 which they later used to construct a football pitch. He worked his way through the youth teams at Ajax and was promoted to the first team squad in January 2010, where he was given the number 51 shirt. Later that month, he made his first team debut in a 1–1 Eredivisie with NAC Breda. He scored his first goal for Ajax on 25 March in a 6–0 win over Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch Cup and extended his contract with the club the following month. On 6 May, he 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. At the end of his first professional season with the club, Eriksen had played 21 competitive matches, scoring one goal, and had made his international debut for Denmark. Eriksen's form throughout the campaign earned praise from manager Martin Jol who compared him to former youth products Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart as well as Danish legend, Michael Laudrup for his reading of the game in the traditional "number 10" role.
2010–2013: Breakthrough yearsEdit
Eriksen took the number eight jersey ahead of the following campaign and began the 2010–11 season well, scoring his first Ajax league goal on 29 August 2010 in an away victory over De Graafschap. Over the course of the next few months, he scored his first home goal at the Amsterdam Arena, in a 3–0 Cup victory over BV Veendam, and his first European goal, in a 3–0 UEFA Europa League win over Anderlecht. In between the milestone goals, Eriksen was also named Danish Talent of the Year. His growing capabilities as the team's playmaker saw him become an undisputed starter in the side and he helped Ajax to their first Eredivisie title in seven years. At the end of the season he was named Ajax's Talent of the Year. His form throughout the campaign also earned him the Dutch Football Talent of the Year award which saw him become only the second Danish player to win the award since Jon Dahl Tomasson in 1996. Johan Cruyff, whose panel selected Eriksen for the award, described Eriksen as a typical product of the Danish school and added to previous comparisons between him and Brian and Michael Laudrup."
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. In the return fixture the following month, he provided assists to teammates Gregory van der Wiel and Siem de Jong as Ajax recorded a 4–0 victory. Five days later he was named Danish Football Player of the Year in recognition of his role in helping Ajax to the league title the season before and in Denmark's successful UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign. Eriksen continued to impress for Ajax and his strong contribution, both in terms of goal and assist returns, helped the club to a second consecutive league title.
Eriksen and Ajax repeated the feat in the 2012–13 season following which he opted not to renew his contract with the club. With only one year remaining on his current contract, Eriksen was permitted to search for a new club and he agreed terms with Tottenham Hotspur in England. Eriksen departed Ajax having made 162 appearances across all competitions and scored 32 goals. Along with his league success, he had also featured in three consecutive editions of the Johan Cruyff Shield, which Ajax won once.
2013–2016: Premier League introduction and League Cup runner-upEdit
On 30 August 2013, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had completed the transfer of Eriksen from Ajax in a deal believed to be worth £11 million (€12.45 million). Eriksen joined the club on the same day as Erik 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. He made his league debut against Norwich City on 14 September 2013 and provided an assist for Gylfi Sigurðsson in a 2–0 victory. After the match, 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."
Five days later, 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. 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. On 23 March, after goals from Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana had given Southampton a 2–0 lead against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Eriksen scored twice to level the score and assisted Sigurðsson to score the winning goal. He continued his goalscoring form on 12 April 2014 when he scored a stoppage-time equaliser to help Tottenham come from 3–0 down to draw 3–3 at West Brom. By the end of the season, he had scored ten goals and registered 13 assists across all competitions, won the Danish Football Player of the Year award and was named Tottenham's Player of the Season.
Ahead of the 2014–15 campaign, Tottenham appointed Mauricio Pochettino as new club manager after the unsuccessful period under Villas-Boas and interim-manager Tim Sherwood. Between November and December 2014, Eriksen scored late winners against Aston Villa, Hull City and Swansea City which he credited to the Argentine manager for raising the team's fitness levels. By the end of the calendar year, Eriksen had scored 12 goals from open play – more than any other player in England – and was soon after awarded his second consecutive Danish Footballer of the Year award. On 28 January 2015, Eriksen scored twice in a 2–2 (3–2 aggregate) win over Sheffield United to send Tottenham into the League Cup Final. His first goal, a 30-yard curling free kick, was later lauded by former professionals Michael Owen and Gary Neville. The final, played against London rivals Chelsea, took place on 1 March and ended in a 2–0 defeat for Tottenham. Eriksen completed the 2014–15 campaign having featured in every Premier League game for Mauricio Pochettino, starting all-but one match, and scored 12 goals across all competitions.
On 9 June 2015, amid speculation that he would be joining Manchester United, Eriksen confirmed to Danish media whilst on international duty that he would stay at Tottenham for the foreseeable future and was quoted as saying, "I feel right at home at Tottenham and I haven't thought about leaving yet." He did in fact remain with the club and scored his first goals of the season in October, netting from two free-kicks in a 2–2 draw with Swansea. In January 2016, Eriksen was once again named Danish Footballer of the Year. In doing so he became the first ever player to win the award in three consecutive years. He ultimately scored 6 goals and registered 13 assists as Tottenham ended the league season in third place, thereby qualifying for the following season's Champions League campaign.
2016–2020: Premier League runner-up and PFA Team of the YearEdit
Ahead of the following season, Eriksen signed a new long-term contract with Tottenham and starred once again for the club, scoring eight goals and assisting a further 15 as the club ended the league campaign as runners-up to champions Chelsea. Eriksen's tally of assists was bettered only by Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne who set up 18 goals for the season. 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.
Eriksen broke the record for the most goals scored by a Danish player in the Premier League when he scored his 33rd goal in a 3–2 win over West Ham United on 23 September 2017, surpassing the record previously held by Nicklas Bendtner. On 9 December, he made his 200th career appearance for Tottenham and marked the occasion by scoring in a 5–1 Premier League win over Stoke City. The following month, he scored his 50th goal for the club when he netted after just 11 seconds in the 2–0 league win over Manchester United. Eriksen's goal was the third-fastest goal ever scored in the Premier League era, bettered only by Alan Shearer and former Spurs captain Ledley King. On 17 March 2018, Eriksen scored twice in an FA Cup fixture against Swansea to send Spurs to the semi-final for the second season running. On 1 April, Eriksen scored a 25-yard goal in the away match against Chelsea, helping Tottenham to their first win in 28 years at Stamford Bridge in a match that finished 3–1. Later that month, in the reverse fixture against Stoke, Eriksen scored twice to earn Tottenham a 2–1 win. Following the match, however, teammate Harry Kane, who was challenging for the season's Golden Boot award, claimed to have made the last touch on the ball for the second goal. Tottenham appealed to the Premier League panel who agreed that the ball touched Kane's shoulder and awarded him the goal. On 14 April, Eriksen was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time, alongside teammates Kane and Jan Vertonghen.
In the 2018–19 season, Eriksen scored his first goal of the season in a Champions League away match against Inter Milan. The match ended in a 2–1 loss for Tottenham, but in the home game against Inter, Eriksen scored again in the only goal of the game, giving Tottenham a 1–0 victory. He scored his first Premier League goal of the season on 15 December 2018 in the home match against Burnley, a late goal that earned Tottenham a 1–0 win. On 31 March, during a 2–1 defeat to Liverpool, he became only the second player after David Beckham to record 10+ assists in four successive Premier League seasons. Three days later, on the occasion of his 200th Premier League appearance, he assisted Son Heung-min for the first ever goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before scoring a goal of his own in a 2–0 win over Crystal Palace.
On 28 January 2020, with his contract at Tottenham set to expire in six months, Eriksen signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Serie A club Inter Milan, which will net him 10 million euros per season. He made his club debut the following day, coming on as a second-half substitute for Alexis Sánchez in 2–1 home win over Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. On 20 February 2020, he scored his first goal for the club, netting the opener in a 2–0 away victory over Ludogorets Razgrad in the Europa League.
Eriksen was called up to the Denmark national under-17 football team in July 2007, and impressed in his debut for the team on 31 July. 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. He was also one of four nominees for the 2008 Danish Talent of the Year award, which was won by Mathias Jørgensen. 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.
Eriksen received his first senior Denmark call-up in February 2010, making his debut in Denmark's friendly match against Austria in March, to become Denmark's fourth youngest full international, being the youngest debutant since Michael Laudrup.
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. He was the youngest player participating in the tournament. At the World Cup, Eriksen played two matches, against the Netherlands and Japan, but Denmark were unable to progress beyond the group stage.
On 9 February 2011, in a 2–1 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, Man Utd star Rio Ferdinand (on Twitter), manager Morten Olsen and several media experts in Denmark and England. 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.
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification and tournamentEdit
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. The first leg of the play-off ended in a 0–0 home draw before Eriksen netted a hat-trick in Dublin's Aviva Stadium in a 5–1 win to earn Denmark a spot at the World Cup. 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 Åge Hareide who stated that Eriksen was one of the top 10 players in the world.
In Denmark's opening match at the tournament, Eriksen assisted Yussuf Poulsen for the only goal in a 1–0 win over Peru before scoring his first goal for the tournament in the 1–1 draw with Australia the following week. Denmark ultimately progressed from their group after which they were drawn with Croatia in the Round of 16. There they were defeated after a penalty shoot-out, with Eriksen being one of three players to have his spot-kick saved by Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subašić.
Style of playEdit
Described as a "classic number ten" in the media, Eriksen's favoured position is in a free role in the centre of the pitch as an attacking midfielder behind the forwards; however, he is a tactically intelligent and versatile player, who is also capable of playing as a central midfielder or mezzala in a 4–3–3 system (as was the case during his first years with Ajax), and even as a right winger in a 4–2–3–1 formation, although he has also been used on the left flank on occasion, and is even capable of playing as a second striker. Gifted with excellent vision, passing range, crossing accuracy, set-piece delivery, creativity, technical skills, movement, and an ability to read the game, as well as good balance and co-ordination, he is highly regarded by pundits for his ability to orchestrate attacking moves for his team with his distribution, create or exploit spaces with his runs, and provide assists to his teammates, which makes him an excellent playmaker and creator. He is also known for his eye for goal from midfield, and for his ability to strike the ball with power and accuracy with either foot, despite being naturally right-footed, in particular from distance; moreover, he has also established himself as a free kick specialist. A talented and hard-working player, his creative playing style, nationality, and role on the pitch has led pundits to compare him to compatriots Michael and Brian Laudrup, who were two of his major influences in his youth, as well as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart; Eriksen has also cited Francesco Totti as an inspiration.[nb 1]
Eriksen lives with his girlfriend Sabrina Kvist Jensen, Their first child, Alfred, was born on 4 June 2018. His younger sister Louise Eriksen (born 1995) also plays football and is the captain for KoldingQ in the Elitedivisionen.
- As of match played 21 August 2020
|Club||Season||League||National Cup[a]||League Cup[b]||Europe||Other||Total|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2013–14||Premier League||25||7||1||0||1||0||9[c]||3||—||36||10|
|Inter Milan||2019–20||Serie A||17||1||3||1||—||6[c]||2||—||26||4|
- Includes KNVB Cup, FA Cup and Coppa Italia
- Includes League/EFL Cup
- Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
- Eight appearances in UEFA Champions League, four appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
- Appearance in Johan Cruyff Shield
- Six appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Europa League
- Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, two appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
- Appearances in UEFA Champions League
- As of match played 15 November 2019
- As of match played 15 November 2019. Denmark score listed first, score column indicates score after each Eriksen goal.
|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||Aalborg Stadium, Aalborg, Denmark||35||Georgia||2–1||2–1|
|4||14 August 2013||Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland||37||Poland||1–1||2–3|
|5||22 May 2014||Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen, Hungary||43||Hungary||1–1||2–2|
|6||8 June 2015||Viborg Stadium, Viborg, Denmark||52||Montenegro||1–1||2–1|
|7||7 June 2016||Suita City Football Stadium, Suita, Japan||61||Bulgaria||2–0||4–0||2016 Kirin Cup|
|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|
|13||6 June 2017||Brøndby Stadium, Brøndbyvester, 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|
|16||4 September 2017||Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia||71||Armenia||2–1||4–1|
|17||5 October 2017||City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro||72||Montenegro||1–0||1–0|
|18||8 October 2017||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||73||Romania||1–0||1–1|
|19||14 November 2017||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland||75||Republic of Ireland||2–1||5–1|
|22||9 June 2018||Brøndby Stadium, Brøndbyvester, Denmark||78||Mexico||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|23||21 June 2018||Samara Arena, Samara, Russia||80||Australia||1–0||1–1||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|24||9 September 2018||Idrætspark, Aarhus, Denmark||83||Wales||1–0||2–0||2018–19 UEFA Nations League B|
|26||21 March 2019||Fadil Vokrri Stadium, Pristina, Kosovo||86||Kosovo||1–1||2–2||Friendly|
|27||10 June 2019||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||89||Georgia||2–1||5–1||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying|
|28||5 September 2019||Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar||90||Gibraltar||2–0||6–0|
|30||15 November 2019||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||94||5–0||6–0|
- Ajax Talent of the Future: 2010
- Ajax Talent of the Year: 2011
- Danish U-17 Talent of the Year: 2008
- Danish Talent of the Year: 2010, 2011
- Dutch Football Talent of the Year: 2011
- Dutch Footballer of the Year Bronze Boot: 2012
- Danish Football Player of the Year: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018
- Danish Football Player of the Year by TV2 and DFA: 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017
- PFA Team of the Year: 2017–18 Premier League
- Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year: 2013–14, 2016–17
- UEFA Midfielder of the Season 2nd place: 2018–19
- Premier League Goal of the Month: April 2018
- FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019 (14th midfielder)
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