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.
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.
Eriksen started playing football in his hometown Middelfart before his third birthday. In 2005 he switched to Odense Boldklub, who competed in the Danish youth championships. His team lost the semi-final against Brøndby IF, but afterwards he was named “Best Technical Player” of the tournament. The following year OB won the tournament, when Eriksen scored the only goal in the final. After some good performances for OB’s U-16 team and later on the U-19 team and Danish U-17 team, major European football clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona began to take notice. 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.”
On 17 October 2008 it was announced that Eriksen had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Amsterdam-based Ajax. The transfer fee received by OB was estimated at €1 million (£847,199). 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. Within the month, he made his first team debut for the Dutch team in the Eredivisie on 17 January 2010 against NAC Breda. 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.
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.” 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. 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. For his second season in the first team of Ajax, Eriksen was given the number 8 shirt.
On 30 August 2013, 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), 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.
On 14 September 2013, he made his Premier League debut against Norwich City, providing an assist for Gylfi Sigurðsson. 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.”
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. 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 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.
On 12 April 2014, Eriksen scored a stoppage-time equalizer as Tottenham came from 3–0 down to draw 3–3 at West Brom. By the end of the season, he had scored seven goals in the Premier League.