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I learned a lot from Eriksen, says Mainoo

England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo says the “amazing journey” that Denmark and Manchester United teammate Christian Eriksen has been on is “amazing” as the two countries prepare to meet in Group C on Thursday.

Eriksen scored the opening goal in Denmark’s first match at the 2024 European Championship against Slovenia – exactly 1,100 days after he suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch during the opening match of the 2021 European Championship.

The 32-year-old midfielder was later fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), allowing him to continue his career in the Premier League.

“I learned a lot from him, I watched him last season when I wasn’t playing so much, and I tried to learn from his game and pick it up as well,” Mainoo said.

“The amazing journey he has been on since the last Euro is amazing. To be so close to him, he’s such a great player.

“If I have to play on Thursday, I’ll have to put that aside to compete against him and hopefully get the win.”

Rasmus Hojlund, another of Mainoo’s United teammates, also plays in Denmark, but the 19-year-old midfielder says the two have not spoken about the match.

“I haven’t spoken to him lately, but I’ll probably leave that for after the game,” he added.

“I haven’t played against him before. He’s a very good friend. It’s good to have those relationships on the field and you can also build them off the field and on the training field.”

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will remain at the club despite speculation over his future, and Mainoo says he owes a lot to the Dutchman, who gave him his Premier League debut and guided him through a breakthrough season that culminated in the selection of England. .

“Happy to build with him. I won two trophies, hopefully more to come,” the teenager added.

“It’s nice to have peace of mind knowing which manager we have when we go back to pre-season. I am so grateful to him for putting so much trust and belief in me to play in the team.

“I can’t thank him enough.”

Mainoo is vying 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.

When asked if Bellingham could be crowned the best player in the world this year, Mainoo said: “Yes, definitely. I mean, everyone knows how great a player he is. We see it every day in training.

“He’s such a nice guy too. He is demanding, he has high standards and it is great to play with him.

“Dec (Rice) is also such a good player, so reliable and so good on the ball and dominant in midfield, so when I got to play with him it was always a pleasure to have someone so strong on the ball next to you to have. You can always trust him, wherever you are on the field.

“Everyone knows he is worth every penny, he is such a good player. He has proven that in the Premier League and also at international level.

“(Playing with 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 rely on him being there. It is a dream.”

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