Delaney 'never dared to dream' of Champions League

"I started here when I was three so the only thing I've ever known in football is FC København," said the scorer of their wonder goal against Club Brugge, Thomas Delaney, as he spoke to UEFA.com.

Thomas Delaney (in white) lets fly against Club Brugge
Thomas Delaney (in white) lets fly against Club Brugge ©AFP/Getty Images

Thomas Delaney has been an FC København fan, and indeed player, since he was a toddler; now the captain, he scored a memorable goal against Club Brugge two weeks ago to set up a 4-0 victory in UEFA Champions League Group G.

Delaney will be joining Werder Bremen in January but the Denmark midfielder's focus is entirely on FCK as they visit Leicester City on Tuesday, knowing a win would take them above the hosts and top of the group, a possibility given the Danish champions are on a 34-game unbeaten run.

The 25-year-old spoke to UEFA.com about his strike against Brugge, what playing in the UEFA Champions League means to him and the club, and some of his competition memories.

Watch Delaney's wonder goal against Club Brugge
Watch Delaney's wonder goal against Club Brugge

On his goal against Club Brugge ...

I don't think I've ever scored a goal like that. It's hard to say if it will happen again. I took the chance and I had a feeling it would go in when I hit it. It's very rare that I have that sort of chance and even rarer that I score from them, but everything seemed to be going my way, so I took the chance.

When you hit the ball, you know something is going to happen. You don't know whether it's going in or not, but I knew, without doubt, that it was a good hit and I just thought: "Get in, get in." And it happened.

On playing for and captaining FCK ...

It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid – I wanted to represent this club. I even lived in the same street as the club. I spent my nights and weekends here training with my dad and team-mates. I started here when I was three so the only thing I've ever known in football is FCK. It all seemed big but possible.

Growing up, I never dreamt of going abroad to play, I just wanted to play for FCK and be the captain. It's a big honour for me to be so connected to the club and feel that I'm an important part of it. I've been a member of the fan club since its foundation, and I feel I've been here since the beginning, which, of course, I haven't, because I became a senior in 2007.

Highlights: Porto 1-1 København
Highlights: Porto 1-1 København

On playing in the UEFA Champions League ...

There is an enormous difference between the [Danish] Superliga and the Champions League. This is what we live for and this is the reason we have such a good team. We want to do well in the Champions League.

Many of our players have had the chance to go to better clubs but they want to be able to play in the Champions League. To do that, we have to win the Superliga, which is always the goal, but the Champions League makes it special to play for FCK. There is no other place in Scandinavia where you can get this experience.

On whether he imagined as a boy he would play for the club in the UEFA Champions League ...

I think it seemed too far away for me. I didn't think I would come this far, even with FCK. When I was a youth player, FCK were not a Champions League club. That happened in the last ten years so I never dared to dream about anything like that.

Now we are here, it feels right and it's important for the players personally. One day when we look back at this time, we will remember good performances and this game against Brugge is something I will definitely remember.

The teenage Thomas Delaney got to play Barcelona in 2010
The teenage Thomas Delaney got to play Barcelona in 2010©Getty Images

On his experiences of playing in the 2010/11 and 2013/14 group stage

I think we learned that playing at home means a lot and there is a difference between home and away matches. It's different to play at Parken where we've achieved all our fantastic results. Even in the Champions League, it's very rare that we lose at Parken.

Although we are a small club and we are underdogs, which we will remain throughout the tournament, we get respect at Parken. We focus a lot on our tactics, which is something many clubs don't. At FCK we aim to play the European way, even in the Superliga.

Maybe we could have bigger victories if we played differently, since our domestic opposition aren't as good, but the Superliga is our preparation for European competition. That's why we play like we do – we know what it takes to play in international tournaments.

I was 19 in 2010/11. It was a crazy experience and there were some good results, especially against Barcelona [Delaney was a late substitute in a 1-1 draw].

I'm still processing everything that happened, but back then it felt like partying with the adults. There were a lot of things I had never seen before and it was football on a level I had never witnessed.

Today I'm focusing on not being too infatuated with the Champions League because it's very big. We won't take it for granted and we consider it a big challenge, otherwise we would look stupid and we wouldn't perform well.

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