Eriksen's hat-trick 'in the top five' Danish football moments - Jan Molby
10 January 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
Last year, Danish great Jan Molby told us about his admiration for Christian Eriksen.
Jan, who won three titles during a trophy-laden spell at Liverpool in the 1980s, is now a pundit for Danish TV, BBC Radio Five Live and the Liverpool Post.
In that article last March , Jan broke down what makes Christian the player he is, from intelligence to finding space to playing the key pass.
In November, Christian scored a hat-trick in the World Cup play-off, second leg against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin to steer Denmark into this summer’s finals in Russia.
Below: Christian fires home against ROI in November - and sends Denmark to the World Cup
At Spurs, he now has over 200 appearances to his name in all competitions (207) and is approaching 50 goals (he’s on 48), in addition to numerous assists.
At the weekend, he was named Danish Football Player of the Year for the fourth time by Denmark’s equivalent of the PFA. He was the first player to win that award three years on the trot (2013, 2014, 2015) and he’s now level with one of Denmark’s all-time greats, Brian Laudrup.
The question is - where does Christian’s performance in Dublin rank in the history of Danish football? Remember, this is a country that won the 1992 European Championships!
Below: Christian celebrates the third goal against Real Madrid at Wembley
Jan was at Wembley in his pundit’s role for the game against West Ham and took time out to answer that question…
“That evening in Dublin...even most great footballers don’t have nights like that,” said Jan.
“The most popular Danish team will always be the firsts - the boys from the 1980s (the first Denmark team to reach the World Cup Finals) but people now compare Christian’s night in Dublin with what went on in the 1980s.
“I have to say, in terms of the importance of that game - and sometimes it’s difficult for people in England, Spain, Germany to understand - but for a country like Denmark, it was of immense importance and it would go down in the top five greatest achievements in Danish football.
“We’ve won the Euros, we’ve had great World Cups and we’ve had some of the best players in Europe, especially for such a small country.
“But this was a special night and it was all about Christian’s ability to get into those spaces and do things very quickly - only the best players see the big picture quickly and decide what they are going to do.”
Below: Jan Molby in action for Denmark at the 1986 World Cup
Jan believes Christian’s play has moved on again since speaking to us last year.
“His decision making is even better, he’s even more decisive,” said Jan, “You go from when you start in the game to having five options on the ball, then four, three and the better you become, you just see one - which is the right one.
“That’s what the great players do, they don’t mess around, they don’t get caught in possession. How often does Christian get caught out like that? I watched the game at Swansea, with water up to your ears, and he ran the show on the ball. He just doesn’t get caught out.
“It’s all coming together and there is a burning desire to be the best and he goes about it in his own way. That’s what sets him apart - he’s a unique footballer.”