Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand said Christian Eriksen was at the forefront of his mind as they beat Wales 4-0 in Amsterdam.
Eriksen, 29, suffered a cardiac arrest in the first half of Denmark’s opening match in Euro 2020 on June 12. He was discharged from hospital on June 18 after being fitted with an implantable heart monitoring device.
Eriksen is continuing his recovery at home but remains firmly in the Denmark players’ minds as they faced Wales in the round of 16 in Amsterdam. The match was played at Ajax’s ground, where Eriksen started his career in 2008 and played through to 2013 for the Dutch giants before moving to Tottenham Hotspur.
After the win at Johan Cruyff Arena, Hjulmand said: “Cruyff is one of my greatest inspirations and knowing this was one of Christian’s first homes and knowing this is where he played one of his first games at 16 years old… he’s with us, and I would have loved for him to have been here.”
Denmark’s fairy-tale run at Euro 2020 continues thanks to new characters Dolberg and Stryger.
Wales honoured Eriksen by giving Denmark captain Simon Kjaer a framed jersey prior to kick-off. The Wales jersey had “CHRISTIAN” written on top and “Brysia Wella” below of Eriksen’s No. 10, which means get well soon in Welsh.
Hjulmand was delighted with Denmark’s performance, which saw Kasper Dolberg score twice, alongside goals from Joakim Mæhle and Martin Braithwaite. As he assessed their victory, he said, “it’s hard to believe this is reality” and reflected on their journey as they now prepare for the quarterfinals.
“When Christian collapsed, that changed everything. We were put in a different situation — I am grateful for the support everyone has shown as that’s what we needed in that moment. We needed the love and support and that’s what gave us wings — I admire the boys, they’re warriors.”
Denmark will face the winner of Netherlands-Czech Republic in Baku on July 3, and despite their run of form, Hjulmand did not bite when asked if they were now contenders to win the championship.
Source: Daily Guide