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Alderweireld on Denmark game:...
Soccer

Alderweireld on Denmark game: It's not nice to have to play them now

Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld says he's in no hurry to face Denmark, following the hospitalisation of Christian Eriksen. 

Just five days after their talismanic midfielder suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch, the Danes will welcome Group B's table-toppers to Copenhagen.

Alderweireld is a former teammate of Eriksen's at both Ajax (2010-13) and Tottenham Hotspur (2015-20).

"It's not nice to have to play them now," Alderweireld told Belgium's in-house media on Tuesday, "But it won't be fun for the Danes either."

The Spurs defender holds 110 caps for his country, but admits Thursday's game will be one of the most mentally difficult for which to prepare.

"It can be done in two ways: it may give them extra strength, or maybe not," he said.

"But I think we have to look at each other and approach this game in the most professional way possible. And also try to win it. That's all we can do."

Belgian players watched Eriksen being treated on the Parken Stadium pitch as they prepared for Saturday evening's game with Russia in St. Petersburg. Roberto Martinez's side won the game 3-0, with Eriksen's Inter teammate Romelu Lukaku dedicating his goals to the stricken player.

"I have known Christian for a long time," Alderweireld said, "When I heard the news, I was no longer thinking about my own game.

"At that point, you're just looking to see if he's okay. So not just me, but everyone was really happy and relieved when we found out on the bus that he was conscious and could even speak."

He added, "The way they handled this situation was amazing. An example for all. They have my eternal respect for it. But we will try to win."

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Belgium Christian Eriksen Denmark Euro 2020 Romelu Lukaku Toby Alderweireld

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