"I just have to score lots of goals and be consistent with Young Ajax," said the Dane. He still seems to be the same cool centre-forward who settled in the Dutch capital a few years back. Some things have changed, however. Rasmussen has made the leap from youth to professional football, and now has his own place in Amsterdam instead of living with a host family.
"It's a vibrant city, one that reminds me a bit of Copenhagen. There are so many people here from all corners of the world. I go shopping a lot, and I like to play padel tennis, a racket sport similar to squash."
Eat what you're given
Rasmussen has found his niche, but has not forgotten his tricky early years at Ajax. "I particularly had trouble with the food," explains the left footer. "I'm not someone who is comfortable trying out new things, but with the host family I had to eat what I was given. That was really difficult."
The fact he plays at Ajax alongside two of his fellow countrymen around the same age - Eskild Dall and Jeppe Kjær - is helping Rasmussen adapt to life in the Netherlands. "We often hang out together," Rasmussen nods. "I have been at Ajax the longest out of the three of us, so I can also give them advice about stuff."
Incidentally, swimming was Rasmussen's first love, rather than football. "I was the best on my team, but they wouldn't transfer me to a better team even though I was plenty good enough," explains the blond Dane. "So sometimes I just put 80% effort into my swimming. I was taught you should always give a hundred percent. In the end, I switched to football, because swimming is a more individual sport, and I preferred football."
From winger to striker
Rasmussen has never looked back since. In August 2021, the left footer saw his contract extended until mid-2024. That same season, Rasmussen made more than 30 appearances for Young Ajax. "Of course, it was nice to kick the new season off with my contract being extended. It also boosted my confidence. I started on the right wing but later went on play number 9. John (Heitinga - Ed.) kept the pressure up, and eventually that paid off. On the whole, I had a good season and developed further."
Søren Lerby, Christian Eriksen, Kasper Dolberg, Lasse Schöne - over the years, Ajax and Danes have turned out to be quite a successful combination. Eriksen was back at Ajax for a week in January, to work on his fitness. He trained along with the U23s, which Rasmussen found surprising. "Being on the field with Eriksen was something else. I'd only ever seen him on tv, and then there I was out there on the pitch training with him!"
"What will stay with me the most? Just his skill. He was totally cool and got every ball into the corner of the net. Practically every shot was a goal - unbelievable. We did speak to each other after, but I really admired him out there on the pitch that week." While Eriksen has already earned his spurs, Rasmussen's career is just beginning. But the left-footed striker is determined to put himself out there this season. "It's up to me to show that I'm ready," he concludes.