Denmark and Belgium to kick ball out of play in 10th minute as Christian Eriksen tribute
Denmark and Belgium to pause game at 10th minute for Christian Eriksen tribute.
As first reported by AP News, Denmark and Belgium are expected to kick the ball out of play to pause their game in dedication to Christian Eriksen. A touching tribute after his sudden collapse just a few days ago.
The Dane has both current and former teammates on each side and, as such, Romelu Lukaku told AP yesterday that the two teams "will kick the ball out for a throw-in to stop and applaud and mark this moment.”
Lukaku, who just enjoyed a Serie A title win with Eriksen at Inter Milan, not only marked his goal in honour of the 29-year-old - shouting “Chris, Chris - strength boy. I love you” down the camera after scoring against Russia - but was very open about the impact it had on him following the match.
In his post-match interview, he told journalists that it was "difficult to play as [his] mind was with [his] teammate, Christian", before wishing him well and dedicating the performance to him. He said he “cried a lot” before the game had started and that his thoughts were on nothing but his friends and family.
Lukaku wasn't the only one to pull out a heart-warming gesture and be clearly touched by the sobering moment, as Spurs' Heung-min Son dedicated a goal to his former colleague and Daley Blind - who has a history with on-field heart problems also - clearly struggled to play his first game in the tournament.
Eriksen is set to have a heart started device fitted, not unlike Blind's own ICD which he received after collapsing twice in the space of a year. This life-saving implant not only monitors a person heartbeat but can send pulses to correct irregular rhythm and even help restart the heart after a cardiac failure.
The 10th-minute stoppage is to pay homage to Eriksen's number, as he wears the number 10 for Denmark. Isn't it reassuring to know that despite the division and tribalism often displayed throughout the year, moments like this show just how unifying football can be.
Meanwhile, the doctor who aided Eriksen when he first regained consciousness has spoken on the football stars first words.
Jens Kleinefeld, a german doctor who was one of the first on sight, administered CPR and a shock from the defibrillator.
Kleinefeld told Fox Sports:
About 30 seconds later, the player opened his eyes and I could talk to him directly.
"That was a very moving moment, because in such medical emergencies in everyday life, the chances of success are much lower."
He asked Eriksen if he was back with them, to which the former Tottenham star said: "'Yes, I am back with you. For f***s sake, I'm only 29 years old."