Denmark & Belgium pay tribute to Eriksen

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/57516321

Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St-Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

Players and fans from Denmark and Belgium showed support for Christian Eriksen during an emotional minute’s applause after halting their European Championship group game.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers stopped play in the 10th minute after Yussuf Poulsen had given Denmark an early lead.

Eriksen is recovering in hospital after he suffered cardiac arrest in the same stadium during Denmark’s opening loss to Finland in Copenhagen on Saturday.

He wears Denmark’s number 10 shirt.

Kevin de Bruyne inspired Belgium to a comeback victory that secured their place in the last 16.

“The only thing I’m disappointed by is the result, I didn’t expect much from this game, but I can’t describe the pride I feel about this squad,” said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

“We’ve felt an enormous back-up from the people, from all the people following us, this whole stadium and all the people we’ve met and felt the love from – that’s what did it in the end.

“We know that it’s going to be a tough few weeks for you, Christian, but we’re here for you. We’re going to stick together and we’re going to beat the Russians. We’re not done in this competition.

“Four days after almost losing one of their best friends, they get on and the play a game like this, this is just amazing. They totally dominated the best team in the world, and I have so much respect.”

Eriksen shirt on the pitch before kick-off
This canvas displaying Eriksen’s Denmark shirt was brought out before kick-off in Copenhagen

Fans gathered in numbers before kick-off with many wearing Eriksen’s shirt, while local buildings hung banners from their windows in support.

A huge canvas was unveiled with Eriksen’s shirt on the pitch before the game and supporters from both nations displayed banners with the words “For Christian” and “Belgium loves you Christian”.

You’ll Never Walk Alone was played just before the players came on to the pitch and there was an powerful rendition of the Danish national anthem.

Midfielder Thomas Delaney said: “We accepted that it’s hard for us to be here again and sing the national anthem. We go into our circle before the match and push some buttons and say, ‘Now are we going to give all we have’.”

Poulsen scored for Denmark after two minutes, which prompted emotional celebrations from the players who raced over to their fans near the touchline.

Belgium were in possession in Denmark’s half when play was halted in the 10th minute to allow the period of applause.

Christian Eriksen tributes
A banner was hung from the stands in front of Denmark fans saying “For Eriksen”

Former England international Karen Carney told BBC Radio 5 Live she had “goosebumps” before kick-off.

“I have never seen such an emotional national anthem from the players and the fans,” she added. “Everyone is emotional. I’m sure he is watching and cheering. It has brought everyone together.”

Commentator Conor McNamara added: “[The applause was] such an outpouring of love. The love the football world has shown and how appreciated he is, is there for all to see.”

Several members of the Belgium squad have played alongside Eriksen at club level, including current team-mate Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan.

Lukaku, who scored twice in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Russia on Saturday, shouted a message of support to Eriksen into a pitchside camera after one of his goals.

Eriksen also played alongside defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld during a seven-year spell at Tottenham.

On Tuesday, Eriksen said he was “fine under the circumstances” and posted a picture from his hospital bed with a thumbs-up.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, who plays for AC Milan, posted a statementexternal-link before the game saying the team would “play for Christian”. He will now be fitted with a heart-starting device.

Belgium fans with an Eriksen banner
Belgium fans also paid tribute to Eriksen
Belgium fan wears a shirt in tribute to Eriksen
A Belgium fan wearing a mask has a shirt on saying “Get well soon Chris Eriksen”
Simon Kjaer holds a framed shirt for Eriksen
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer holds up a framed Eriksen shirt before kick-off
Fans applauded Eriksen
Fans got to their feet to applaud Eriksen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *