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Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen reflects ahead of Denmark’s World Cup opener

by David O'Neill

Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen has reflected on his previous World Cups as he prepares to represent Denmark in their third such tournament.

The Danes open their campaign against Tunisia on Tuesday after Eriksen will be a trusted veteran for the occasion.

However during his first World Cup, the playmaker was the youngest player at the tournament, arriving in South Africa as an 18-year-old back in 2010.

“I have a lot of memories, it was a busy year for me that,” he told Manchester United’s in-house media. “Getting my debut in January that year and then playing at the World Cup six months later for my country was very special.

“Obviously, I went as a very young kid, hadn’t played that many games – I felt I should have played more – but I got more minutes and was on the big stage.

“But unfortunately, we went home early so this one wasn’t good for us as a country but for me, being there, getting my debut for the national team, a World Cup debut, it was something special.”

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Eriksen was crucial to his country’s qualification from the group stages.

Denmark scored just two goals before reaching the Round of 16, with one scored and the other assisted by none other than Christian Eriksen.

They were then bested by eventual finalists Croatia after a gruelling 120 minutes led to a penalty shootout.

Ahead of Denmark’s opener, United’s No 14 is confident they can reach the knockout stages once again and wants to make the most of the occasion.

“It’ll be very special,” he said. “The World Cup is only once in a while, so you know how much you have to work to get there.

“Obviously, I was outside of football and the country did qualify without me which was very nice and now to be part of it and help the country at the World Cup is very special.

“We did well last time and now it’s up to us to see how far we go this time.”

In a group containing France and Australia, along with Tunisia, the Danes stand a good chance of making waves once more.

And any success will likely have Christian Eriksen at its centre.

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