Denmark take inspiration from Eriksen for Wembley at Euro 2020
Posted On July 4, 2021
Christian Eriksen’s absence makes it even harder to forget what happened to him
Through JAMES ELLINGWORTH AP Sports Writer
July 4, 2021, 11:51
• 3 minutes to read
BAKU, Azerbaijan – The absence of Christian Eriksen makes it even more difficult to forget what happened to him.
Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand found out on Saturday, his mind drifting away from the game even as his side played in the quarter-finals of the European Championship.
“I thought about him during and after the game,” Hjulmand said through a translator after the 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic. “I can’t stop thinking how amazing it would be to see him play (in the next game). He’s still a big part of the squad and he’s a big part of our route to Wembley. “
Eriksen survived cardiac arrest in Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener three weeks ago, and the emotional outpouring that followed boosted the team – until the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium .
The Danes want to face England on Wednesday in London.
“He has always been a very important part of the team and still is,” Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney said through an interpreter. “Of course we carry it in our hearts. He should have been here. It’s always something we struggle with, but making him proud is something that makes me happy. “
Eriksen collapsed facing first on the pitch in the first half of the game against Finland on June 12. His teammates formed a wall around him as medical workers resuscitated him with a defibrillator. He spent a week in the hospital before returning home to recover.
The team’s next game will take place in a stadium that Eriksen knows well. The England national team’s home also served as Tottenham’s temporary home for part of Eriksen’s seven years at the London club.
And in October, Eriksen scored Denmark’s only goal at Wembley in a 1-0 victory over England in the Nations League.
“This team is not something that we built overnight,” said Hjulmand. “He’s been part of the team for a very long time. I think about him all the time, I wish he was there and I send him a lot of greetings and he is a big part of that result. “
Denmark lost to Finland in the Euro 2020 opener, then lost another to Belgium. The Danes still managed to progress, beating Russia in their last group game, helped by the fact that Belgium went undefeated in their three matches.
Eriksen, who now plays for Inter Milan, was released from hospital ahead of the game against Russia and visited his team-mates upon his release.
He has since sent messages of support on social media and has been in private contact with the team.
More messages will certainly follow in the coming days.
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