News, Culture & Society

Euro 2020: Kevin De Bruyne avoided ‘wildly’ celebrating goal out of respect for Christian Eriksen

Kevin De Bruyne reveals he avoided ‘wildly’ celebrating his goal in Belgium’s Euro 2020 victory against Denmark out of respect for Christian Eriksen after his cardiac arrest

Belgium talisman Kevin De Bruyne has revealed he avoided ‘wildly’ celebrating his goal in the Euro 2020 victory over Denmark out of respect for Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen is continuing to recover in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch on Saturday, and his country’s latest fixture was a touching tribute to him. 

After playmaker Eriksen was widely celebrated during the 10th minute, Belgium went on to take all three points, largely because of De Bruyne’s impact after coming on.

Kevin De Bruyne said he avoided wildly celebrating his goal out of respect for Christian Eriksen

Yussuf Poulsen struck after just two minutes to send Parken Stadium into pandemonium, but De Bruyne, now back to fitness, turned the tie on its head.

He netted the winner on 70 minutes, having crashed home into the bottom corner after another flowing move, and his reaction was muted. 

‘I was happy, of course, but I respect people here too much to celebrate wildly,’ De Bruyne explained post-match.

De Bruyne (left) netted the winner in Belgium's win over Denmark but the reaction was muted

De Bruyne (left) netted the winner in Belgium’s win over Denmark but the reaction was muted

‘I went to the part of the pitch where Christian Eriksen collapsed on Saturday and I stayed calm.’

In truly harrowing scenes, Eriksen slumped to the turf during the group opener against Finland, and he required emergency medical treatment.

As CPR was applied to Eriksen, and the 29-year-old was shocked with a defibrillator, his team-mates formed a shield around him in an attempt to give him privacy. 

With the football world rallying around the current Inter Milan man, Belgium did their bit by kicking the ball out of play on Thursday to spark a round of warm applause.

Eriksen is currently recovering in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch last week

Eriksen is currently recovering in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch last week

Danish talisman Eriksen wrote a message thanking the football world for its touching support

Danish talisman Eriksen wrote a message thanking the football world for its touching support

Before the match got underway, a large shirt emblazoned with Eriksen’s name and number was unveiled on the pitch, and a host of supporters bore custom messages. 

Days on from the incident, the doctor who helped save Eriksen’s life has revealed what the player’s first words were in the moments after he was brought back. 

Jens Kleinefeld was one of the first on the scene in Copenhagen, and helped to deliver the shock that mercifully restarted Eriksen’s heart.

‘About 30 seconds later, the player opened his eyes and I could talk to him directly,’ Kleinefeld told Fox Sports.

A large jersey emblazoned with Eriksen's name and number was unveiled ahead of kick-off

A large jersey emblazoned with Eriksen’s name and number was unveiled ahead of kick-off

There were a large number of personalised messages for Eriksen displayed inside the ground

There were a large number of personalised messages for Eriksen displayed inside the ground

‘That was a very moving moment, because in such medical emergencies in everyday life, the chances of success are much lower.’

When asked by Kleinefeld if he was ‘back with us’, Eriksen replied: ‘Yes, I am back with you. For f***s sake, I’m only 29 years old.’

Morten Boesen, the Denmark team doctor, said on Thursday morning that Eriksen will be fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk