Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand is hoping his nation’s lengthy love affair with Dutch soccer usually and Ajax Amsterdam particularly will stand to them once they tackle Wales of their Euro 2020 final 16 recreation on Saturday.
The 2 sides meet on the Johan Cruyff Area the place many Danes have represented Ajax over time, together with playmaker Christian Eriksen, who’s recovering following a cardiac arrest in opposition to Finland in Denmark’s opening recreation.
“If any membership exterior the borders has meant something to Danish soccer, this (Ajax) is it. There’s a very massive connection between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Denmark,” Hjulmand advised a information convention.
“Christian (Eriksen) left house when he was 16, and that is his second house. We even have (Kasper) Dolberg and (Nicolai) Boilesen — there are such a lot of gamers who’ve gotten their soccer upbringing right here,” he added.
The Danes beat Wales twice within the UEFA Nations League in 2018, however Hjulmand mentioned that these outcomes will rely for nothing when the 2 sides meet once more.
“It was a staff that was some place else on the time when Denmark final met them. They had been within the course of of constructing some adjustments. From there, they’ve had three good years,” Hjulmand defined.
One participant who remains to be within the setup is Gareth Bale, who has spent the final season taking part in alongside Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at Tottenham Hotspur in England.
“Within the final ten years, not many individuals have carried out what he has carried out. Scored over 100 targets for Actual Madrid. He is a category participant, an amazing man. Among the best gamers I’ve performed with,” Hojbjerg advised reporters.
“I want the perfect for him, simply not tomorrow!” he added.
Hojbjerg would not agree with Bale that Wales is the underdog on Saturday, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has mentioned that he and the Danes aren’t taking something with no consideration.
“If you understand something about soccer, you understand that the subsequent match is crucial. We’re not excited about that match after the subsequent one,” Hojbjerg mentioned.
Hjulmand believes his aspect is now totally recovered from the shock of Eriksen’s collapse. “Now we have gotten over a traumatic expertise and we all know that we’re warriors — we went in there once more that very same night. We performed in opposition to the strongest nationwide staff (Belgium) a number of days later,” Hjulmand mentioned.
“This staff has proven psychological energy for a number of years, we all know that we simply get stronger and stronger as time goes on,” he added.