Christian Eriksen attributed his impressive performance in AFC Ajax's 2-0 defeat of AC Milan to the confidence inspired in him by Frank de Boer, describing the victory as the best in his fledgling career. "It doesn't get much better than beating Milan at San Siro," he said.
The 18-year-old signed for Ajax from Odense BK in 2008, but the attacking midfielder has progressed so rapidly that within three months of making his first-team debut in January the Dutch club extended his contract until June 2014. The Danish international's precocious skills were fully evident against Milan, where his awareness, eye for goal and all-round contribution were a key factor in Ajax's victory.
"It all went really well," Eriksen told UEFA.com. "My passes found their targets and I felt good tonight. It was a much better performance than last time [against Real Madrid CF] and this win is something we have to build on for the future."
Ajax's 4-0 home loss to Real Madrid on Matchday 5 had ensured their UEFA Champions League campaign would end in Milan regardless of the scoreline, yet the Amsterdam side also knew their reward for a victory would be the continuation of their European adventure in the UEFA Europa League.
The visitors' eventual triumph, which came courtesy of second-half goals by Demy de Zeeuw and Toby Alderweireld, also represented a good start for stand-in coach De Boer in his first game in charge since Martin Jol's resignation on Monday.
"Hopefully this win is the turning point and we can keep up the good work for the next few weeks," continued Eriksen, who was coached by De Boer in the Ajax academy. "He gave me a lot of confidence to play both on and off the ball. Tonight I visualised some pictures in my head from those academy days and remembered how well things had gone for me – that seemed to work.
"This is the best result in my career so far," he added. "There's no question about it – it doesn't get much better than beating Milan at San Siro.
I don't know who we are going to draw in the next round but we are confident against anyone after beating Milan. We will certainly have some tough games ahead but we are aiming to go all the way to the final."
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