Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said Christian Eriksen remains part of his team after the Danes extended their remarkable run at Euro 2020 to the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Baku on Saturday.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in his country’s opening match of the tournament against Finland and needed resuscitation on the field before making a full recovery in hospital.
A shell-shocked Denmark went on to lose 1-0 to Finland when the match resumed shortly afterwards and were then also defeated 2-1 by Belgium.
But 10 goals in three successive wins have carried Hjulmand’s men to Wembley on Wednesday for only their fourth European Championship semi-final.
“I thought about him during the game and after the game, I kept thinking how amazing it would be to see him play there,” said Hjulmand of the Inter Milan playmaker.
“He’s still a big part of this team and a big part of our road to Wembley. That team is not something we built overnight, he has been part of the team for a very long time.
“I wish he was here. I’m sending a lot of greetings to him and he’s a big part of this result.”
The emotional reaction to Eriksen’s collapse in front of the watching world has seen Denmark become the neutrals’ favourites with support coming from across the continent.
“I definitely feel it,” added Hjulmand of the support. “I think the whole world of football understood that second, and the days after, the fundamental things in life and in football.
“There are so many other agendas in football but we all remember why we started to play football.
“I’m still thinking about Christian every single day, he should be here. I think about him all the time. I think we all understood what the values of principles of football are.
“I think we are a symbol of it and I couldn’t be more happy than that.
“The team showed it without being told how to act. It was unbelievable to see the reaction they had with each other but also the Danish population. It was a reminder what football can be in the world.”