Having moved from Denmark to join Ajax’s famed academy in his teens, Christian Eriksen knows a thing or two about the Eredivisie.
The classy playmaker went on to light up the Dutch top division, developing a superb reputation around the world and, last summer, earning an £11million move to Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.
Eriksen, now aged 22, is also just one example of the Eredivisie being a production line for the stars of tomorrow. It is where many of the current best players in the world learned their trade and it is the place to watch the talent of the future.
So, at the announcement of EA SPORTS' partnership extension with the Premier League, we asked Eriksen himself about what viewers can expect from the Eredivisie when it is broadcast exclusively live on the new Sky Sports 5 from its launch on 12th August.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR TIME AT AJAX AND IN THE EREDIVISIE?
“To play football. All the teams you play against in the Dutch league want the ball. They all want to play attacking football.
“I learned a lot. I moved to the Netherlands very early; when I was 16. I spent my youth there. Ajax was a structured club. When the trainer wanted you to do something, you had to do it right; you were taught the right way.
“You also get noticed if you are doing well. I wanted to be in the first team as quickly as possible so you always want to do better.
“A lot of young players come through in the Dutch league, because it is not the highest league. But that is good. When you are young, you have to start somewhere and I think the Dutch league is one of the best places.”
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS WE SHOULD KEEP AN EYE ON IN THE EREDIVISIE THIS SEASON?
“I know mostly about Danish players at Ajax. I think Nicolai Boilesen will do pretty good this season. Hopefully Lucas Andersen will also get his chance this season.”
HOW DOES THE EREDIVISE DIFFER FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE?
“It is in the level of the football. In the Premier League, you have to be at 100 per cent in all the games. The level is lower in the Dutch league but, when you are there, it is hard enough.
“If you play at Ajax, you almost always have the best players so you have a big opportunity to win almost every game. At Ajax, you need to win every game, because you have that chance, the team and the players.”
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE FANS IN THE NETHERLANDS?
“It is good. They have a lot of people going to the games.
“At White Hart Lane, the whole stadium sings. Whereas, in the Dutch league, you have fan groups singing while other people watch and enjoy the game. The atmosphere is a bit different.”
Christian Eriksen was speaking at the announcement of EA SPORTS' partnership extension with the Premier League. The renewed deal will allow FIFA 15 to replicate Barclays Premier League players and all 20 stadiums with more realism than ever before. EA SPORTS FIFA 15 is available to pre-order on all platforms at www.easports.com/uk/fifa/buy.