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4 quick thoughts on Christian Eriksen’s goal against Australia, which was art

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Bask in it.

Denmark v Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

There have been some absolutely beautiful goals in this World Cup, from Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick screamer to Kevin De Bruyne setting up Romelu Lukaku with the pass of the tournament to just about everything Cristiano Ronaldo has done.

But right up there in terms of beauty is this goal from Christian Eriksen and Denmark, which is giving me chills even now watching it back for the 12th time.

Look at this thing:

Some quick thoughts on the goal.

  1. We’ll get to the build up in a second, but let’s just appreciate the technical ability Eriksen has to have to hit the ball so sweetly in that situation. Yes, it’s a wonderful pass from TK, but that is a bouncing ball Eriksen is taking while sprinting full speed at it, and he calmly gets his left leg up, strikes cleanly down on the ball through the laces, and powers the ball past the keeper. He can’t hit it any better than that.
  2. Part of what separates truly brilliant athletes from the merely great, I think, is they are able to slow the game down around them. While everyone else is moving a million miles an hour, and there are bodies flying everywhere, the greats see things moving almost in slow motion. Look at how Eriksen handles this. When he strikes the ball, he looks like someone going through a warm-up routine. He’s totally calm, totally at ease. There are bodies flying everywhere, and he only sees the ball, then calmly puts his foot through it.
  3. Let’s give some love to that original pass from a Denmark midfielder (I’m pretty sure it was Schoen) who not only stepped up hard and beat the Australia player to the ball, he then had the presence of mind to play the ball into his striker’s feet. That’s a really brilliant bit of play from someone whose main job there is to just stop the Aussie break. He did that, yes, but then got a pass played in to the holding striker, which is exactly what he needed to do.
  4. And stand and applaud that final ball from Nicolai Jørgensen. That’s so incredibly hard to do what he did — not only receive the ball with tons of pressure on your back, but then take a touch away, get your foot up, and send the pass back across the box, perfectly weighted to set up on Eriksen’s left foot.
Denmark v Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Denmark showed what makes them so dangerous on that goal. Tenacity, strength, a bit of class from supporting players, and then a world-class talent in Eriksen who’s able to finish. What a goal.