After the heart attack of his former teammate Christian Eriksen, the confrontation with Denmark took on an added dimension for Toby Alderweireld. “It could give Denmark extra strength,” says the Red Devil, “or maybe not. But we just have to look at ourselves.”
Alderweireld shared the dressing room at both Ajax and Tottenham with Christian Eriksen, the Danish playmaker who collapsed during the match against Finland.
“I’ve known Christian for a long time,” Alderweireld said in an interview with KBVB. “When I heard the news, I was no longer working on my own match. At that moment I was just looking for information if he was doing well.”
“So it’s not just me, but everyone was really happy and relieved when we got the news on the bus ride to the match that he was conscious and could speak.”
“It was necessary, because another question is: ‘If it was less good, would you play football? “Your head is not about that at all. Those are the scenarios that haunt you. Fortunately, this is positive after all. And everything is fine with him.”
I understand that there is a lot of sympathy for Denmark. And rightly so.
Alderweireld says there is now a European Championship showdown with Denmark on Thursday’s playing schedule “not fun”. “But it also wouldn’t be fun for the Danes.”
“It can be two ways: it can give them extra strength, or maybe not. But I think we have to look at ourselves and approach this match as professionally as possible. And try to win it too. That’s all we can do.” .
“I also understand that there is a lot of sympathy for this country. And rightly so. How they handled this situation is unbelievable. A scriptural example. They have my eternal respect for that. But we will try to win.”
“Denmark has many qualities”
After a smooth opening match against Russia, Denmark will be an even bigger challenge according to Alderweireld. “They have a lot of qualities,” he says. “A very good team that knows how to play.”
“We actually played very well against her twice (in the Nations League: 0-2 and 4-2, editor). It was also necessary, otherwise we wouldn’t have won for sure.”
“You just feel like they have a lot of qualities and they have a clear idea of how they want to play. It’s a very tough opponent and also an away game. Their fans will be 100 per cent behind it. We’ll have to be up front to score points there.”