Denmark could have achieved one objective by reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2020 at Wembley however, impressed by a “proud” Christian Eriksen, they don’t have any intention of stopping there.
A 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday propelled the Danes into the final 4 of a serious match for the primary time since their shock triumph at Euro 1992.
It has been a outstanding effort, beneath a coach who wouldn’t have been in cost if not for the Covid-19 pandemic, and after two opening defeats, the primary of which, to Finland, was overshadowed by the terrifying collapse of star participant Eriksen after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
However 10 objectives in three successive wins have put the Scandinavians two matches away from following within the footsteps of the category of 92, whereas Inter Milan midfielder Eriksen has been cheering them on from residence.
“Christian wrote in regards to the squad that he is happy with us,” stated midfielder Thomas Delaney, who scored the opening objective in opposition to the Czechs, of a message Eriksen despatched to the crew on Saturday.
“He is all the time been such an vital a part of this crew, and our greatest participant for years.
“We play with him on the chest, and he deserves to be there. We all the time wrestle somewhat with that, however making him proud makes me, and the others, pleased.”
When goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel stated earlier than the match that the crew wished to emulate the title-winning aspect of 29 years in the past, which was impressed by his father Peter, his feedback appeared over-ambitious.
– Denmark ‘not glad’ with semi-finals –
However Denmark’s success shouldn’t come as a shock.
The crew have misplaced solely three of 29 matches since a last-16 exit on the 2018 World Cup, overwhelmed on penalties by eventual runners-up Croatia, and sit tenth within the FIFA world rankings.
On Wednesday within the semi-finals, they face England at Wembley the place they beat Gareth Southgate’s males within the Nations League final November, following a goalless attract Copenhagen.
“We had a objective once we entered this competitors: to go to Wembley,” captain Simon Kjaer informed tv channel DR.
“We’re there. However I might be mendacity to say that we’re glad with it… That Christian is properly signifies that we are able to proceed to push. He is aware of that we’re enjoying for him.”
A whole lot of the work in making Denmark severe challengers was performed by former coach Ade Hareide, who was as a result of step down after Euro 2020.
However when the match was delayed by a yr as a result of Covid, he handed the baton to Kasper Hjulmand.
– The power of being buddies –
Denmark have grow to be the neutrals’ favourites, partly due to the gamers’ response to Eriksen’s collapse, once they protected him from the glare of the cameras and consoled his distraught accomplice, and likewise due to their thrilling soccer.
“The power of the squad is being buddies,” Hareide informed the BBC.
“There are very, very tight connections between the gamers. Denmark is a small nation and most of those gamers have been enjoying collectively from the Beneath-16s as much as the nationwide crew so that they know one another rather well.
“After I got here in, I settled the crew extra like a membership aspect than a nationwide crew aspect.”
The Danes are reaping the rewards of Hareide’s work, with Hjulmand having added additional aptitude to an already sturdy aspect.
Teen Mikkel Damsgaard, dubbed ‘Damsinho’ by the Danish press, has stuffed in for Eriksen brilliantly, whereas rampaging Atalanta wing-back Joakim Maehle has been a revelation on the Euro.
England, set to be roared on by nearly all of greater than 60,000 followers, will probably be favourites to succeed in the ultimate on Wednesday, however Denmark are able to rise to the problem.
“The battle have to be fought in England, we’ll combat the most effective we are able to,” Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard wrote on Instagram.