The midfielder played for Dutch side Ajax in the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition in 2011-12 and 2012-13, taking on the likes of Real Madrid, Lyon, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
They were ideal opportunities for the Danish international star to sample life at the top level prior to his move to White Hart Lane in 2013.
Now, ahead of our return to the competition in 2016-17, Christian says he hopes to be able to draw on what he learned back then to aid our bid for success on the continent.
“I think everyone wants to assist everyone but, of course, I would love to help the team as much as possible, whether that’s by talking or showing the way,” said the 24-year-old (pictured, below, in Champions League action for Ajax against Real Madrid in September, 2011).
“It’s been a few years since I’ve been in the Champions League but I think it’s going to improve us as a team. It’s something that we as a club have wanted for a while now and we’ve been close in the last few years, but especially over the last year we’ve shown that we can do well.
“Of course, we need to take it to the next step next season and in the Champions League I think we can do that. We can improve a lot more and a lot quicker so I think it will be a fun season.”
So what does Christian make of our chances at European football’s top table in 2016-17?
“We still haven’t tried playing a big team in a really important, big game,” he said. “We’ve played all the English teams and we can do really well against them – even against Manchester City last season we did well and they got to the semi-finals of the Champions League, so hopefully we’ll be able to perform well too.
“We showed last season that we’re capable of doing big things and playing really good football. We proved that we are a difficult team to play against but also very attack-minded, we’re a team that wants to score a lot of goals and if we want to play in the Champions League we need to do all that.”