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Monday, August 02, 2021

Christian Eriksen: A Spurs legend and a free-kick expert

Eriksen in Tottenham – a club where he cemented his legacy as Danish great in the English Premier League.

Written by Shashank Nair | New Delhi |
June 13, 2021 11:27:34 am
Tottenham's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring their first goalEriksen’s move to Tottenham was a successful venture for both parties. (Source: Reuters)

Danish international Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in the first half of a Euro 2020 Group A game, between Denmark and Finland. He was stretchered out of the Parken Stadium and taken to the hospital after being provided medical treatment. UEFA tweeted out later that he had stabilised.

Eriksen’s football career started at Ajax Amsterdam where the attacking midfielder’s stature, especially when the Dutch club won three Eredivisie titles from 2011 to 2013, grew. A modern-day No 10, Eriksen spent five years in Amsterdam, racking up 162 appearances while scoring 32 goals. Eriksen then moved to Tottenham – a club where he cemented his legacy as Danish great in the English Premier League.

Eriksen: A Spurs legend and a free-kick expert

Spurs’ ideal midfielder

At a time when the Premier League was rife with attacking midfielders, Eriksen offered the basics at an efficiency bar none. Known for being a high-energy midfielder, who had the ability to score and assist in double figures every season, Eriksen’s move to Tottenham was a successful venture for both parties.

Surrounding themselves with a core of great players, Tottenham had Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Eriksen as part of an attacking trio – a combination that worked not only because all three were seasoned players in the final third of the pitch, but also for the constant defensive hustle that they displayed in an opponent’s half.

The peak of Eriksen’s time at Tottenham came when the North-London club made the UEFA Champions League final in 2019 which they lost to Liverpool. In what was his best campaign under former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, Eriksen was part of the core of Spurs players that took them nearer to continental glory than they ever had been – scoring eight goals and assisting 12 times through the season.

Christian Eriksen plays as an attacking midfielder for Inter. (File)

Stay Inter-rupted

But with the Champions League loss also came a desire to leave London. After a protracted period of wanting to move on from Tottenham, Eriksen joined Inter Milan on a free transfer after the 2020 season.

His first year in Inter began with an adjustment period, where he started for only 17 games for the Italian club. But in his second season, Eriksen started 9 more games than his previous year and was instrumental in Inter regaining the Serie A title, their first since the 2009-10 season. After the end of the season, European publications alleged that Eriksen might be on the move from Inter.

While known for his time in the English Premier League, Eriksen’s stature as a leader of the Danish national team often gets overlooked. He is the youngest Danish player, at 28 years and 243 days to bag 100 games for the national team, a feat only 10 Danes have successfully carried.

Eriksen is also known for his perfect free-kick technique. A Danish FA instructional video from 2005 has a young 13-year-old Eriksen showcasing how to correctly take freekicks – precisely the one he is most famous for – a curling, dipping ball, launched perfectly into the top corner of the net. Until the 2018 season, six of his 41 goals in the English Premier League were from set-pieces.

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