Euro 2024: I’ve learned a lot from Denmark’s Eriksen – Mainoo

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England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo says the “great journey” Denmark and Manchester United team-mate Christian Eriksen has been on is “amazing”, as the two nations prepare to meet in Group C on Thursday.
Eriksen scored the opening goal in Denmark’s first game of Euro 2024 against Slovenia – exactly 1,100 days after he had a cardiac arrest on the pitch in their opening match of the 2021 Euros.
The 32-year-old midfielder was later fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), which has allowed him to continue his career in the Premier League.

“I have learned a lot from him, watching him last season when I wasn’t playing as much, trying to learn and pick up from his game as well,” said Mainoo.
“The great journey he has been on since the last Euros is amazing. To be around him so close, he’s such a great player.
“If I’m to play on Thursday I’ll have to put that to the side to compete against him and hopefully get the win.”
Rasmus Hojlund, another of Mainoo’s United team-mates, is also in the Denmark side, but the 19-year-old midfielder says the two have not spoken about the match.
“I’ve not spoken to him recently, but I’ll probably leave that for after the game,” he added.
“I haven’t played against him before. He’s a really good friend, it’s good to have those relationships on the pitch and you build them off the pitch and around the training ground.”
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will be staying at the club despite speculation around his future, and Mainoo says he owes a lot to the Dutchman, who gave him his Premier League debut and coached him through a breakthrough season which culminated in making the England squad.
“Happy to be building with him – got two trophies, hopefully, there’s more to come,” added the teenager.
“It’s nice to have that peace of mind to know what manager we have when we go back in pre-season. I’m so grateful for him that he put so much trust and belief in me to play in the team.
“I can’t thank him enough.”
Image caption: Kobbie Mainoo replaced Jude Bellingham during England’s opening Euro 2024 win over Serbia
Mainoo is competing for a place in England’s midfield to play with likely starters Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.
Real Madrid’s Bellingham is among the candidates to win the Ballon d’Or for his starring role in the La Liga and Champions League-winning side.
Asked if Bellingham could be crowned the world’s best player this year, Mainoo said: “Yeah definitely. I mean everyone knows how great a player he is. We see it everyday in training.
“He’s such a nice guy as well. He’s demanding, he has high standards that he sets and to play with him is great.
“Dec [Rice] is also such a good player, so reliable and so good on the ball and dominant in midfield, so when I did get to play with him it’s always a joy to have someone so strong on the ball next to you. You can always trust him no matter where you are on the pitch.
“Everyone knows he’s worth every penny, he’s such a good player. He’s proved that in the Premier League and also on the international level.
“[Playing alongside Rice], it frees me up a lot and allows me to go forward and attack and I always know that when I go I can trust that he’s there. It’s a dream.”

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