Danish captain on the night, Christian opened the scoring with a clinical low drive as the teams drew 1-1 in Copenhagen. He also came close to doubling Denmark’s lead at the start of the second half before Joshua Kimmich found a late equaliser for the world champions.
Safe to say, Steffen was impressed…
- 130 appearances, 1999-2003
- League Cup winner, 1999
- Won Bundesliga twice and European Cup (1997) with Borussia Dortmund
- Capped 21 times by Germany
- Euro 96 winner, part of 1998 World Cup squad
Trust and personality
Steffen: "The first thing that struck me watching Germany against Denmark was that Christian Eriksen was wearing the captain’s armband. That shows a trust in Christian from his national team and says a lot about his personality. You could see from his performance the steps he’s made in the last couple of years in terms of being a leader and taking more responsibility at Spurs. Okay, it wasn’t a full team from Germany, but you still have to play well to get any result, and that’s never easy."
Below: Christian celebrates a cracker against Southampton
Steffen: "Look at his play at Spurs. He’s pressing, he’s influencing the team without the ball and he’s improved his defensive work so much. His personality is stronger now, he shows more responsibility and that is why he’s wearing the captain’s armband for Denmark. That is always a great honour and congratulations to him. Of course, the quality is always there with Christian. Look at his goal, Denmark with the high press, he’s onto the loose ball and ‘bang’, it’s in the back the net. Then you have the quality of delivery from the set-pieces. Christian set up another good chance in the first half for Jannik Vestergaard saved brilliantly by Kevin Trapp."
Below: Steffen Freund in action for Germany, at Spurs and pictured recently
Ability to do 'something special'
Steffen: "So the quality is there, and always will be, but I feel his personality is now stronger. In that first season, we played him on the left or the right, now he plays in the central positions because he’s stronger on the ball and he loves to press and win possession for the team. He’s in a fantastic way and as Spurs get stronger and stronger, it’s reflected in Christian’s performances as well. Christian is a key player and if you talk about goals of course you talk about Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son, but Christian’s influence is key as well for assists, set-pieces and the ability to produce something special. You love to have a player like that in your team."