Euro 2020: 'Euphoria' for Denmark after Difficult Times


Kasper Schmeichel summed up his thoughts following Denmark's European Championship victory over Russia with just one word.

"Euphoria," said the goalie.

That overwhelming pleasure is a great sensation for a squad that has been through "a turbulent emotional roller coaster" at Euro 2020, as Schmeichel described it, but now has every reason to be optimistic.

Denmark qualified for the round of 16 with a 4-1 win over Russia, and will face Wales in Amsterdam on Saturday. There are some breath-taking last 16 ties on the horizon, and sports betting is lit throughout the tournament.

"After the last 10-12 days that we’ve been through, it feels great to advance," Schmeichel said. "So much has happened, but now the Euros start in earnest for us. We have a chance to make this a really good tournament after a very, very difficult start."

With Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest in the first game against Finland, Denmark has become a sentimental favourite for many supporters both inside and outside the nation.

It has brought the entire country of Denmark closer together than it normally does during a major football event. The 25,000-strong audience at Parken Stadium has helped the squad play its last two matches against Belgium and Russia, and the players took time after Monday's game to thank them in every area of the stadium.

"I don’t think we could have done this without the support,” Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said. ”It lifts the players, it lifts everything, and it just means so much to us.”

They must now find a way to win in a neutral location against an unpredictable squad that advanced to the Euro 2016 semi-finals. Betting fans can place their wagers with Betway, for this, and other knockout ties of the Euros.

"They (Wales) have great players. It will be a very exciting and a very equal match." Hjulmand said.

Eriksen is widely regarded as Denmark's best player and one of the most creative playmakers in world football. But Hjulmand has adapted to his loss by changing to a more defensively robust formation. It was MikkelDamsgaard, 20, who took Eriksen's position in the starting lineup, and scored the first goal against Russia.

"It’s insane that we’re advancing. It’s the greatest feeling ever.” Damsgaard said.

Eriksen was released from the hospital on Friday and went to see his teammates before returning home to be with his family to complete his recuperation. After the Belgium and Russia games, the Inter Milan midfielder sent a message to the team's WhatsApp group, according to defender Jens Stryger Larsen.

And it's evident that Eriksen's condition continues to serve as a major source of inspiration for the Danish squad.

"We’ve been through so much in the time we’ve been together. We all agreed that this was not the last chapter in this story,” remarked an emotional Denmark midfielder Christian Norgaard.

"We must be allowed to enjoy the victory tonight and the feeling of moving on, after everything we have been through as a team. There was no doubt that this victory was also for Christian."

Follow and bet on all the remaining Euro 2020 fixtures with Betway for a chance to turn your stakes into profits.

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