Romelu Lukaku has said Belgium will kick the ball into touchdown in the 10th minute of their game against Denmark on Thursday – allowing them to applaud Christian Eriksen as he continues to recover from his cardiac arrest.
The Danish No.10 collapsed to the ground just before half-time in his country’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland last week, with the former Tottenham star needing CPR in scenes horrible on the grounds of Copenhagen.
Thanks to the heroism of Danish captain Simon Kjaer, who administered the initial recovery position, and medical teams at the stadium, Eriksen was brought back to life with a defibrillator and was seen conscious while being carried on a litter.
Romelu Lukaku (right) revealed that Belgium plan to throw the ball in the 10th minute of their game against Denmark on Thursday night in tribute to Christian Eriksen
The Danish no.10 suffered cardiac arrest in his Euro opener against Finland last week
Inter Milan star recovered after being resuscitated by medics and transferred to hospital
The incident sent shockwaves around the world, not just in sport, with fans, players, experts and clubs all praying for his recovery – before UEFA confirmed it was stable in hospital.
Eriksen has since spoken from his hospital bed to assure fans he is “fine”, posting an optimistic selfie as he underwent further tests, admitting he wanted to “understand what happened to me” .
As the rest of the world sent their best wishes to Eriksen, his Inter Milan teammate Lukaku revealed that the Belgian side are planning their own tribute and want to show respect to their Danish side.
Lukaku – who plays with Eriksen at Inter – said he had already spoken to the midfielder via text message
This will only be the second time Denmark have entered the pitch since the incident and Lukaku said it was important for Belgium – with many of the squad having played with the 29-year-old in the past.
“After 10 minutes of the game, we will put the ball in touch to cheer,” Lukaku said.
“Several players from our country have played with him but we will be there to win and that is the most important.”
Lukaku – who took advantage of Inter’s Serie A victory with Eriksen last season – said he spoke to her and plans to speak to her again before heading onto the pitch against Denmark.
However, he stressed the importance of giving him time to recuperate and be with his family.
Lukaku celebrated his goal against Russia last week shouting: “Chris, I love you” on camera
Eriksen has already spoken from her hospital bed to thank the world for their huge support
“I just got a message from Eriksen telling me he was fine, and I told him if he wanted to talk, I was there.
“I’ll send him a little message before the game. I’ll let him spend time with his family. A lot of people will try to message him. I’ll let him pick it up.
Lukaku had scored a brace in their 3-0 win over Russia – shortly after Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest, and the former Man United star celebrated by shouting: “Chris, I love you! ” in the camera.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez said Eriksen’s collapse was a “difficult time” for his players, but praised his side’s plan to make a “celebration” of his survival with their move against the Denmark.
But he stressed that his Red Devils side had a game up for grabs in Group B and that they would “shift attention quickly” after showing their respect. Belgium are at the top of the table after their 3-0 victory over Russia last time around.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez said the team planned to create a “celebration” with the gesture
“As you can imagine, the uncertainty we had when the incident happened, it was a really tough time, a tough time for any player watching the game, a tough time for the players who shared changing rooms with Christian, ”says Martinez.
“Then from that point on, once you have the good news that Christian reacted positively, that he was speaking, that he was in the hospital, now it’s almost a celebration.
“You’re going to have a crowd at full capacity – this is a celebration in football and for Christian. But then there is a game to play.
“It’s an important game for both national teams and that way every player who is on this pitch will know the importance and what is at stake, and that focus will change quite quickly.”