As Eriksson’s collapse inspires the country, Denmark is crazy about football


A Danish team overcame adversity and captured the hearts of the people on the road to the glory of European football.

It happened in 1992 when Denmark unexpectedly won the European Football Championship, even though it was only selected for the competition at the last minute.Twenty-nine years later, after seeing their star player Christian Eriksson suffer trauma Cardiac arrest In the first game, will this happen again in Scandinavian countries?

“What happened to Eriksson will become part of our country’s narrative. In Denmark, everyone is talking about another 92 years,” said former government minister Lykke Friis, who is heading to Baku, Azerbaijan, to watch the Saturday match The quarterfinals of the Czech Republic. “That fairytale summer is in everyone’s mind.”

The image of Danish players surrounding the prone Eriksson receiving electric shocks and cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the Copenhagen Stadium will be one of the defining moments of the 2020 European Cup. Fries called it an “exciting event”, which made a country and neutral supporters fall in love with the team.

Danish midfielder Pierre-Emil Hoybjög described the game as a “roller coaster.” When they returned to the game against Finland after the fall of Eriksson, “We played hard and tried our best to make ourselves and our country proud,” he said.

Denmark celebrates the goal against Russia in a 4-1 win © Friedemann Vogel Pool via Reuters

The 1992 victory is still the climax of Danish football. The team failed to qualify, but was called up a week before the start of the game to replace Yugoslavia, who was excluded from the Balkan war. Denmark defeated Germany in the final, and Fries described the event as “Andersen’s adventure” for this country of 5.8 million people.

Nikoline is a bartender at the Hop House bar in Copenhagen. She was only two years old when Denmark won. She said her parents often told her that she would never know how great it felt. “Now it may happen,” she said, describing the current atmosphere as a “national party.”

After Eriksson’s near-death experience (he is now recovering), no one had any expectations for the team, she said: “People think it’s okay if they go out, as long as everyone is alive.”

But since the initial loss to the Finnish team, the team’s performance has been getting better and better. They first shocked Belgium by scoring, and then finally lost to one of the favorites.

The last group match against Russia was very tense, before Denmark found its own equipment to a 4-1 victory. They also scored four goals against Wales to reach the quarter-finals. “You can really feel the building of patriotism,” Nicolin said.

Christian Erickson
Christian Eriksson gave a thumbs up from his hospital bed as he is recovering from a cardiac arrest in the first game in Denmark © DFA via Reuters

The three-person team in the Copenhagen bar-watching neighbor Sweden lose in the game this week-showed how Denmark’s success snowballed. The 31-year-old sports reporter Frederick is such a fan. He has bought a semifinal ticket because he believes that “this team is a real deal.” For months, he has been urging friends to buy fake Danish football shirts.

Soren, a 31-year-old engineering student, said that after years of watching it be absorbed by the nationalist right, these competitions made him and others proud of the Danish red and white flag. After drinking, 32-year-old IT worker Anders hoped that he had listened to Frederick and bought a shirt, which is now sold out in most stores.

Eriksson’s horrified sense of “unitedness” after the war and the “strong” feeling that Denmark can come along again attracted him. Frederick interjected: “You can’t see a team that desires and strives for it as hard as we do.”

Hojbjerg emphasized that Denmark “has not done anything yet” and still needs to beat the Czech and England or Ukraine to reach the final.

Danish fans in Copenhagen
Danish fans gather in Copenhagen before the match against Russia © Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix via AP

But he admits that there are similarities between today’s team and the 1992 team. Both have a goal of Schmeichel-father Peter 29 years ago, son Casper today-as well as reliable defenders and exciting attackers like Brian Lauder in 1992 Rupp and Mikel Damsgaard are now.

Hojbjerg added: “There are [also] Unity, the value of’one for all, all for one’, this kind of pride in serving the country. “

The Czech team is likely to be a more difficult opponent than Wales, and has one of the forwards in this game in Patrick Schick. After three games in Copenhagen and one in Amsterdam, due to the advantage of Danish fans, this game seems to be part of Denmark’s honor, and the atmosphere in Azerbaijan may be different.

Nevertheless, the strong sense of unity between the team and the country keeps many Danes optimistic. Hojbjerg himself described the “extraordinary” feelings of the past few weeks, especially after living in a Covid-19 blockade and empty stadiums for more than a year.

“Really being able to feel love, it reminds all of us why we started playing football in terms of happiness and passion,” he said. “Football must be enjoyed together-you must feel it. This is what is happening in Denmark.”

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