“You’re going to have a full capacity crowd – this is about a celebration in football and for Christian.”
Belgium will perform a gesture in celebration of Christian Eriksen during Thursday’s game against Denmark, striker Romelu Lukaku has confirmed.
The ball will be kicked out of play in the 10th minute of the match, to pay tribute to Eriksen, who wears the number 10 jersey for Denmark. This comes after the Danish talisman collapsed during the side’s 1-0 defeat to Finland on Saturday.
Belgium gesture for Christian Eriksen in Denmark match.
Speaking ahead of the game between the two sides, Lukaku said of his Inter Milan teammate: “After 10 minutes of the match we will put the ball in touch to applaud.
“Several players from our country have played with him but we will be there to win and that is the most important.”
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez also said that he welcomes this move from his players, saying that the football match will “not be the same” without Eriksen.
Roberto Martinez on Christian Eriksen.
He said: “As you can imagine, the uncertainty that we had when the incident happened, that was a really tough moment, a tough moment for any player that was watching the game, a tough moment for players who have been sharing dressing rooms with Christian.
“Then from that point on, once you get the good news that Christian reacted positively, that he was talking, that he was in hospital, now it’s almost a celebration.
“You’re going to have a full capacity crowd – this is about a celebration in football and for Christian. But after that, there’s a game to be played.
“It’s an important game for both national teams and in that way, every single player that is going to be on that pitch will know the importance and what’s at stake, and that focus will shift quite quickly.”
Lukaku has already made his feelings on Eriksen extremely clear. After scoring his first goal against Russia on Saturday night, the Belgian striker ran to the camera and said “Chris – I love you.”
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has also confirmed that Eriksen will be watching the match today, and that there is even a chance he will be able to hear the fans in the stadium from his hospital bed.