Moving scenes as Euro 2020 teams pay tribute to Christian Eriksen

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Seen here, Denmark's coach and players look downbeat after their loss to Belgium.
Christian Eriksen was in the hearts of every Danish player, official and supporter. Pic: Getty

Beautiful scenes at Euro 2020 have captured the hearts of football fans around the world as players from Belgium and Denmark led tributes to Christian Eriksen.

The football world was rocked over the weekend when the Danish player collapsed in the middle of his side's opening match against Finland after suffering cardiac arrest.

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After a lengthy period of treatment by medical staff and extensive CPR, Eriksen was rushed to hospital where he is currently recovering from the frightening incident.

In the country's first match since Eriksen's terrifying ordeal, Denmark went down 2-1 to Belgium in a game marked by several emotional tributes to the Danish star.

Belgian substitute Kevin de Bruyne set up one goal and scored the winner himself to give Belgium their second successive victory.

Denmark started at a furious pace to honour Eriksen at a raucous Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

Yussuf Poulsen scored with a low shot inside the far post in only the second minute before players from both teams then halted play after 10 minutes as the 25,000 fans rose for a minute of thunderous applause in tribute to Danish No.10 Eriksen.

The players joined the applause as well, as did referee Bjorn Kuipers.

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Fans even took a leaf out of the Liverpool supporters' playbook with a rousing rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone before kick-off.

The Gerry and the Pacemakers hit, which is the Reds' anthem for their home Premier League matches at Anfield, could be heard echoing across the stadium as fans from both sides united in support of Eriksen.

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Danish star Eriksen was in a nearby hospital after suffering cardiac arrest in the team's opening game.

The Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen confirmed that the player would have to be fitted with a defibrillator implant - also known as a 'heart-starter' - after the incident.

"Various heart examinations were conducted with Christian. It was then decided that he should receive an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator)," Boesen said in a statement.

"The decision is necessary after ventricular fibrillation led to a heart attack."

Among the other stirring tributes for the Danish star was a giant canvas that was unfurled out in the middle of the pitch to illustrate the Danish jersey with Eriksen's No.10 on it.

The wonderful scenes warmed the hearts of football fans all around the world.

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'Super sub' turns contest in Belgium's favour

De Bruyne came on after halftime on Thursday for his first appearance since sustaining a facial fracture in the Champions League final and squared the ball for Thorgan Hazard to equalise in the 55th minute.

The Manchester City superstar then scored in the 71st with a fierce low drive from outside the area.

Belgium fought back to earn a victory that seals their spot in the round of 16, although Denmark can still advance with a win over Russia on Monday if the Belgians beat Finland.

Carried forward by the largest crowd in Denmark since the government eased pandemic restrictions, the hosts kept pushing forward in wave after wave after the early goal.

Play resumed at a more normal pace after the tribute to Eriksen, but Denmark were still much the better side in the first half.

Yet things changed completely when De Bruyne came on after the break.

Seen here, Kevin De Bruyne in action for Belgium at Euro 2020.
Kevin De Bruyne's introduction in the second half turned the contest in Belgium's favour. Pic: Getty

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand had said the team's strategy for keeping Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku quiet was to make sure he didn't get the ball in the first place.

Denmark had largely succeeded until the 55th minutes, when Lukaku burst forward down the right flank before passing to De Bruyne.

The Manchester City midfielder weaved into the area before teeing up Hazard, who slotted it past a scrambling Kasper Schmeichel.

Eden Hazard, Thorgan's superstar brother, then came on and set up De Bruyne for the second goal.

The City midfielder ran towards the Belgium fans but didn't celebrate the goal, making a pushing hands down gesture in a calming motion out of respect for Eriksen.

Martin Braithwaite had Denmark's best chances for an equaliser, but his shot was saved by Thibaut Courtois in the 75th and his header glanced against the crossbar in the 87th.

with agencies

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