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Thursday 22 August 2019

Eriksen: Win would end our nearly-men tag

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen
Tottenham's Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen says winning the Champions League will alter people's view of Spurs.

The Denmark star, said to be on Real Madrid's transfer radar, has played a key role in helping Spurs to their best run in Europe's top club competition.

But he's also been part of a Mauricio Pochettino side that's fallen short in the big moments.

They dropped away in the 2015-16 Premier League title race, lost the 2015 Carabao Cup final to Chelsea and lost two FA Cup semi-finals. That added to a history of messing up at the big moments, which earned them the 'Spursy' nickname.

The manner of their route to today's final against Liverpool went some way to shedding that tag, but winning in Madrid will put it to bed once and for all, insists Eriksen.

He said: "It's something that will change the club, how people look at the club, how people think about us players at Spurs.

"We're not going to be Spursy, or whatever they call it. As a player you just go for the moment and hope it falls your way."

Spurs' Champions League campaign has been fraught with drama and they have been within 10 minutes of going out of the competition five times.

The remarkable scenes at Manchester City and Ajax have led some people to suggest that their name is on the trophy.

But Eriksen has a more pragmatic view of their march to Madrid.

"I don't know if it's destiny," the midfielder said. "I think we've just been lucky.

"In the City game with Raheem Sterling's late strike, I thought we were out. Ajax was a bit different because it was during the game.

"There was no waiting or standing around. It was just Lucas Moura pops up at the right time. It was nerve-wracking. We're just happy we were on the right side." Eriksen's 80th-minute goal against Inter Milan prevented a group-stage exit, but he was almost responsible for losing to City.

His stray pass that led to Sterling netting would have given City a 5-4 aggregate lead and sent them into the semi-finals.

But VAR saved Spurs after the goal was chalked off because Sergio Aguero was ruled offside.

"It would have been a disaster. Very, very painful,'' added Eriksen

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