UEFA Euro 2020

Romelu Lukaku dedicates performance against Russia to Christian Eriksen

Robbie Copeland
Lukaku paid tribute to his Inter teammate
Lukaku paid tribute to his Inter teammate / Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku dedicated his match-winning performance against Russia to Christian Eriksen after his Inter teammate collapsed during Denmark's clash with Finland.

Lukaku's brace helped Belgium sweep Russia aside in their opening Euro 2020 match, but football seemed of little consequence given what had happened in Denmark earlier in the day. There were distressing scenes as Eriksen went down and required CPR before being rushed to hospital.

Thankfully the Danish FA have released a statement confirming Eriksen is in stable condition in hospital, but there was real concern stretching far beyond Copenhagen. When Lukaku opened the scoring against Russia, he ran straight to the camera and said 'Chris, I love you.'

In an emotional interview with the BBC after the game, Lukaku said: "I'm really happy with the win but it was difficult to play because my mind was with my teammate Christian.

"I hope he's healthy and I dedicate this performance to him.

"I cried a lot because I was scared. We lived strong moments together for a year and a half. I spent more time with him than with my family, so my thoughts are with him, his girlfriend, his two kids and his family."

Despite the situation, Denmark returned to play the remainder of the game, with Finland eventually running out 1-0 winners. It was a controversial decision, but coach Kasper Hjulmand revealed they had little choice in the matter.

He said after the match: "We had two options to play the game [today] or tomorrow at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today. You can't play a game with such feelings. We tried to win. It was incredible they managed to go out and try to play the second half.

"It was a really tough evening, on which we've all been reminded what the most important things in life are. It's meaningful relationships. It's those people who are close to us. It's family and friends."