Casper Schmeichel described in one word his feelings after Denmark’s victory over Russia at the European Championship.
“Euphoria,” the goalkeeper said.
This feeling of unbridled joy is a pleasant feeling for a team that has passed, as Schmeichel put it, a “stormy emotional train in an amusement park” at Euro 2020, but now has every reason to look forward with optimism.
The 4-1 victory over Russia secured a place in the round of 16 for Denmark, where she will play Wales on Saturday in Amsterdam.
“After the last 10-12 days we’ve been through, it’s great to make progress,” Schmeichel said. “So many things have happened, but now the euro is starting seriously for us. We have a chance to make this really good tournament after a very, very difficult start. “
This start, when Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during the opening match against Finland, made Denmark a sentimental favorite for many fans even outside the country.
In Denmark, this has brought the whole nation together even more than usual during a major football tournament. 25,000 crowds at Parken Stadium have led the team forward in their last two games against Belgium and Russia, and players have taken the time to thank them in every part of the arena since Monday’s game.
“I don’t think we could do this without support,” said Denmark coach Casper Hulmand. “It lifts the players, it lifts everything and it just means so much to us.”
Now, however, they must find a way to win in a neutral place and against a team that has reached the semifinals of Euro 2016.
“They have great players,” Hulmand told Wales. “It’s going to be a very exciting and very even match.”
Eriksen is considered the best player in Denmark and his most creative playmaker. But Hulmand adjusted to his absence, moving to a more solid defensive line, and it was 20-year-old Mikel Damsgaard, who replaced Eriksen in the starting lineup, who scored the opening goal against Russia.
“It’s crazy that we’re making progress,” Damsgaard said. “It’s the greatest feeling ever.”
Eriksen was released from the hospital on Friday and then went to visit his teammates before returning home to continue his recovery with his family. Just like after the match with Belgium, the Inter midfielder from Milan sent a message to the WhatsApp group immediately after the victory of Russia, said the defender Jens Striger Larsen
And it is clear that Eriksen’s trials are still a huge source of motivation for this Danish team.
“We’ve been through so much in the time we’ve been together. We all agreed that this is not the last chapter in this story, “said Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard. “We should be allowed to rejoice in the victory tonight and the feeling of moving forward, after everything we have experienced as a team. There was no doubt that this victory was for Christian as well. “