Read a short snippet of the interview below:
Born and raised in Denmark, a graduate of the Dutch Academy system and student of the Italian traditions of defending, Joachim Andersen’s development is a voyage through varying European footballing cultures. The result: a defender confident in possession but rigorous in his positioning; prepared to play with the ball but just as competent off it.
Leaving Denmark as a teenager, he joined the youth system at FC Twente. “In Holland, everything is with the ball,” he remembers. “All training sessions are with the ball, all running and physical work is with the ball.
“They really like going into the detail and precision of playing out from the back, midfielders wanting the ball, a lot of possession games. So you learn to use the ball and you become really good with the ball.
“I was always a midfielder before, and that also helped me. It was only when I was 17 or 18 that I moved back – it was quite late. I really like to play at the back because you can see everything, and I think that’s where my strengths come in.”
There was a disadvantage, however. For all his development with the ball at his feet, Andersen was keen to perfect the basic art of defending that eluded him in his youth as a midfielder. When it comes to defending as an art form, there is only one place to go.