From the despair of seeing a teammate endure cardiac arrest to the European Championship quarterfinals, in some way Denmark retains on going.
Denmark will face the Czech Republic on Saturday, precisely three weeks after midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the sphere within the group’s opening recreation and needed to be resuscitated with a defibrillator.
Whereas Eriksen recovers — initially within the hospital and now at house — Denmark has improved at Euro 2020. A 4-1 win over Russia obtained Denmark out of the group stage after two losses. Beating Wales 4-0 within the spherical of 16 matched the group’s greatest displaying since “Danish Dynamite” gained the 1992 European Championship.
“Tradition-wise, there’s similarities. Values of sticking (collectively), one for all and all for one,” Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg mentioned Thursday. “There’s this pleasure additionally to be taking part in on your nation and all these values that I do not assume have modified an excessive amount of since 1992. However my greatest respect to the blokes in ′92 as a result of they went on to win it. We have not finished something but.”
Because the “shock” of Eriksen’s sudden collapse, Hojbjerg mentioned, Denmark has gone by enormous emotional ups and downs.
“Now we’re within the quarterfinals, so it has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, an enormous one,” he mentioned. “And the nice factor is that we’re nonetheless hungry. We’re nonetheless decided to push for extra.”
Greater than half of the 26-man squad was not but born when Denmark beat Germany 2-0 within the 1992 ultimate. The one European quarterfinal look since then got here in 2004, a 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic. Hojbjerg was 8 years previous again then and remembers he was “not very joyful” he could not watch the match due to a faculty journey.
That match resulted in disappointment for the Czechs, too. They misplaced to eventual champion Greece 1-0 within the semifinals. As Czechoslovakia, the group gained the European title in 1976. Because the Czech Republic, the excessive level was being runner-up to Germany in 1996.
Each Denmark and the Czech Republic have been at their greatest at Euro 2020 when taking part in high-intensity, bodily soccer towards opponents who wished possession. They might find yourself canceling one another out within the quarterfinals. That is taking part in on Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand’s thoughts, a lot in order that he admitted he was disillusioned the Czech group upset the Netherlands 2-0 within the spherical of 16.
“I might somewhat have performed the Netherlands,” Hjulmand instructed Danish broadcaster DR on Monday. “Now we’re dealing with a group for the primary time (within the match) that I believe can match our personal depth.”
Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen might return after lacking the Wales recreation with a muscle damage, when alternative Kasper Dolberg scored twice. Yet one more aim would see Czech Republic ahead Patrik Schick match Cristiano Ronaldo as match chief with 5.
Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Darida is about to return after lacking the win over Wales with a leg damage.
“Denmark may not sound as glamorous because the Netherlands, France or Italy, however they’re a really sturdy opponent,” Darida mentioned Friday. “We simply need to achieve success. I believe each our group and their group, we actually play cohesively. We do not have massive stars however we’ve got gamers from good leagues.”
Few Danish or Czech followers will probably be within the Baku Olympic Stadium for the sport. Solely Turkey, Azerbaijan’s shut ally, has had greater than a pair hundred followers at video games within the metropolis thus far.
“In my opinion it does not actually make sense (to play in Baku). We’re a bit pissed off however we respect this resolution,” Czech Republic midfielder Michal Sadilek mentioned by an interpreter on Thursday. “We hope for any assist we will get on the stadium and we’re going to play in order that we will have the followers at our subsequent recreation.”
Plans for a Czech constitution flight to Baku fell aside as a result of not sufficient followers agreed to go. Denmark might have as much as 1,000 supporters and supplied 50 of its most loyal followers a experience on the federation’s aircraft.
Denmark has felt nearer than most groups to its followers, who roared the group on to beat Russia in Copenhagen. In Amsterdam, too, the Danes had been the native favorites in what felt like a house recreation towards Wales.
“We’ll attempt to play ahead, to defend shortly and provides our greatest and provides the whole lot for the good assist and compassion we have had from the Danish folks,” Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand mentioned.
“We’ll play with that coronary heart of Christian Eriksen as soon as once more. And he’s the center of the group nonetheless. And with that coronary heart and with out that worry we’ll simply push the button once more tomorrow and provides the whole lot.”