Kevin De Bruyne reveals he toned down Belgium goal celebration out of respect to Christian Eriksen

KEVIN DE BRUYNE revealed he toned down his goal celebration out of respect for hospital-stricken Christian Eriksen.

The Belgium superstar came off the bench to create one and score the winner to cancel out Yussuf Poulsen’s opener in a game dedicated to Eriksen after his cardiac arrest last wee

Kevin de Bruyne said he toned down his goal celebration out of respect to Christian EriksenCredit: AFP

Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner in Belgium's 2-1 victory over Denmark

Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner in Belgium’s 2-1 victory over DenmarkCredit: Getty

The match was stopped for a minute-long applause in the 10th minute, while banners and pre-match posters were all in honour of the recovering Dane.

De Bruyne’s 70th-minute winner had muted celebrations, and he explained: “I was happy, of course, but I respect people here too much to celebrate wildly.

“I went to the part of the pitch where Christian Eriksen collapsed on Saturday and I stayed calm.”

Romelu Lukaku – a teammate of Eriksen at Inter Milan – looked tearful during the minute-long applause, and admitted he spoke to him on the phone before their game.

Lukaku said: “It was a nice conversation. We were talking about the Danish plan to stop me so it was kind of funny. I am really grateful Christian is still among us.

“I hope he comes back quickly.”

Belgium have now qualified for the knock-out stages with a game to spare in Group B.

Denmark star Christian Eriksen is continuing his recovery in hospital

Denmark star Christian Eriksen is continuing his recovery in hospital

But after the Danes scored after just 99 seconds, Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez said: “The fans gave them the lead and at that point we were shell shocked.

“They used the home advantage really well and It took us 20 minutes to start being ourselves. The first half had a lot of emotion.

“The second half was more rational and we showed character.”

Denmark now need to beat Russia in their last group game and hope Finland lose to Belgium to have any chance of qualifying.

Boss Kasper Hjulmand said: “It is real that we have zero points but given our quality and how good we have been, I have a feeling we can go through.”

Belgium kick ball off at 10th minute at Euro 2020 in tribute to Denmark’s Eriksen

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