Soccer-Denmark players to return to Parken ahead of Belgium game


Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Denmark Training - Elsinore, Denmark - June 15, 2021 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand during training REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Denmark players will not train at the Parken Stadium ahead of their Euro 2020 clash with Belgium, but some of them will visit the arena in an attempt to put the traumatic events of Christian Eriksen's collapse behind them.

Danish playmaker Eriksen suffered a heart attack on the pitch against Finland on Saturday, and the Danes have been working to recover from that shock ahead of their Group B clash with Belgium on Thursday.

Teams usually train at the match arena the day before a game, but the Danes chose to remain at their base in the coastal town of Helsingor, about 45 kilometres from Parken.

"We are not training in Parken, but we will have a bus going in there for everyone who thinks it is a good idea to get back and just be there and see everything again, and be there for the first time since Saturday, so that is a possibility for all of us," Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand told a news conference on Wednesday.

The Danes have had psychologists and crisis counsellors helping the players who witnessed their stricken team mate receiving CPR on the pitch before being taken to hospital for treatment where he is still recovering.

"The hospital is right next to Parken and probably he will be able to hear everything (against Belgium), so that's a crazy situation for Christian. Yeah I think he will be in his shirt and watch the game," Hjulmand said.

The Danes now face arguably their toughest game in Group B against top-ranked Belgium as they try to get their campaign back on track.

"There is no doubt that we are underdogs. We are up against a world-class team ... they are one of the teams that would remind you most of a club side in terms of their flexibility and clarity," Hjulmand said.

"We have to reach a high level as a team, and we must also reach a high level individually. I'm pretty certain that we are going to play a strong game."

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, additional reporting by Stine Busch Jacobsen, editing by Ed Osmond)

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