Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen is eager to impress at this summer's European Championship with Denmark.
Labelled by some as 'the new Michael Laudrup', the Danish dynamo is under pressure, but ready to perform on Europe's biggest stage - and is hopeful of surprising a few people along the way.
Denmark find themselves in the tournament's 'group of death', but Eriksen and his team-mates are looking to take inspiration from Peter Schmeichel, John Jensen and the rest of the class of 1992 to become the surprise package in Poland and Ukraine.
Speaking exclusively to Paul Hassall in the July issue of FourFourTwo - out now - Eriksen described his anticipation ahead of Euro 2012.
"Obviously it's a very difficult and dynamic group, but we will relish the role of outsiders and give it our best shot," he says.
"When I first saw the group, I thought 'wow, what a line-up', and not
many people outside of Denmark will give us a chance, but it's up to us
to prove people wrong. We're capable of ruffling a few feathers.
"They [the 1992 team] proved that anything is possible. The
expectation was very low back then and no one gave them a chance. It
would be nice if history could repeat itself."
Eriksen is fresh off the back of a title-winning campaign with Dutch
powerhouse Ajax, and in his first major tournament with the national
team, he is eager to continue his fine run of form.
"The World Cup in 2010 came a little too soon for me so this is my first
real chance to show what I can do. My form with Ajax has been good and
I'll head into it in high spirits. I know all about the expectation but
it doesn't faze me. I can’t wait."
The 2011 Dutch Football Talent of the Year has been tipped to join Danish compatriot Nicklas Bendtner in the Premier League.
However, Eriksen is more than happy to remain with the Amsterdam ArenA outfit, for now.
"It’s a possibility [playing in England], but not right now. A lot of the best players aim to perform in England at some point. I'm not different but I think Ajax is the right place for me to develop."
Read the full interview with Christian Eriksen in the July 2012 issue of FourFourTwo.
It also features interviews with fellow 'Stars of the Euros' Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gomez, Andriy Shevchenko and Alan Dzagoev, as well as an in-depth look at Euro 96 and France's resurgence under Laurent Blanc.
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