Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen has revealed that he chose to snub Chelsea as a 14-year-old after coming to Stamford Bridge on trial before making a move to Ajax.
The Denmark international will face Chelsea in arguably the most important game of Tottenham's season at Wembley in the finals of the Capital One Cup. A win here will be a major boost for Mauricio Pochettino in only his first season at the club, irrespective of whether they finish in a Champions League spot come the end of the season.
Eriksen has been central to whatever Tottenham have achieved this season, being the prime provider for Harry Kane, who has been the biggest success during Pochettino's brief stay at the club. The England international has primed for a call up to the England squad when they resume their qualifiers for the Euros this March.
The 23-year-old added that he had no qualms in snubbing England for a move to Ajax, where he has developed better as a player, under the careful jurisdiction of greats like Marc Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp.
"England was not my first choice at that age. I enjoyed myself during the trials but it was too big a step at that time," Eriksen said as quoted by the Mirror.
"It was a lot closer to home.
"It meant my Mum could come over for my first month. You wouldn't say no to Ajax; the Dutch mentality was a lot closer to the Danish one, so it was an easy decision to make really.
"England was so different from what I was used to in Denmark. Everything was smaller in Odense - the training ground was different, the people were different.
"In England you can't enter the training ground without permission whereas in Denmark you are free to go in," he added.
Tottenham have already beaten Chelsea 5-3 at White Hart Lane this season and Pochettino will be hoping for a similar performance this time around from his boys. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho will be desperate to land his hands on the trophy since returning to the Premier League.