Christian Eriksen: Reaching World Cup would be bigger than Real Madrid win
Christian Eriksen says leading Denmark to the 2018 World Cup with a playoff win against Republic of Ireland in Dublin would eclipse the achievement of inspiring Tottenham to victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Spurs midfielder Eriksen scored the third goal in the 3-1 win against Madrid at Wembley earlier this month on a night when Mauricio Pochettino's team overran the European champions.
The 25-year-old was unable to orchestrate a similarly impressive performance for the Danes against Ireland on Saturday, with the two teams playing out an uneventful 0-0 draw in Copenhagen.
But Eriksen says he is ready to rise to the occasion in Tuesday's second leg at the Aviva Stadium after admitting that a win against Martin O'Neill's team would be bigger than Spurs beating Madrid.
"I think it would be," Eriksen said. "It would mean a lot for me personally and for the country. Getting your country to a World Cup is one of the biggest things you can do for your country.
"Every player wants to send their country to a World Cup, it is the biggest thing you can achieve and I will try to take my chances. I tried that in Copenhagen, but the last pass wasn't good enough.
"Ireland played very compact. It wasn't easy and we went for more long balls than we should have, but we feel confident. A goal for us away means a lot. We have to take the pressure."
Martin O'Neill's Ireland team have come in for criticism, both in Denmark and back in Ireland, for their cautious approach to the game in the Parken Stadium.
But Eriksen says he has no issue with Ireland over their negative style of play, claiming that it is up to Denmark to do more to break them down.
"They were the away team, they wanted to stop us from scoring. I can't blame them," Eriksen said. "We could have played better, we could have created more, but we also had chances to get that goal.
"Ireland played the same style through all of qualification, so I don't think it will change that much on Tuesday.
"At home, they might be a bit more adventurous with the fans at their back, but I don't think it will change too much
"They will be scared of us scoring a goal -- that would be a big hit -- so the first goal is very important.
"I feel that we will have our chance in Dublin, I'm really confident. We know it will be a tough game. It's another massive stadium with their fans behind them."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_