Wales are used to the underdog tag: Gareth Bale ahead of their last-16 match vs Denmark

After recovering from the horrific situation associated with Christian Eriksen’s collapse, Denmark have played really well to reach the knockout stages.

Gareth Bale in a file photo. (Image: Wales FA Twitter)
By Karthik Raman | Jun 25, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Denmark have reacted incredibly well to Christian Eriksen’s collapse against Finland in their Euro 2020 opener, to reach the knockout stages. The horrifying incident surrounding Eriksen’s cardiac arrest and their national team’s recovery has increased Denmark’s popularity among fans. With many backing them to go deep in the tournament, the Danes next face Wales in the round-of-16. Eriksen, who was given CPR on the field after collapsing during Denmark’s opener against Finland, is currently recovering at home. The Danish players regrouped after that incident and fought hard to reach the last 16.

Meanwhile, Wales enjoyed a stunning Euro 2016, reaching the semifinals before losing out to eventual champions Portugal. Five years later, they have a chance to go deep again. Ahead of Saturday’s game in Amsterdam, Gareth Bale asserted that Wales are used to being underdogs. “That’s normal anyway,” the Real Madrid forward said at his pre-match press conference. “We’re always the underdogs and used to that tag. It doesn’t make a difference to us.”

Bale also informed that the Wales camp had sent their support to Eriksen following his collapse. “Obviously we understand the situation that happened with them and we’ve sent all our best wishes to Christian,” Bale said. “What a great job the Denmark team did with that. But come game day tomorrow it will be just us and them on the pitch, and hopefully we can put a great performance in and get the job done.”

“It’s another big challenge. We know Denmark are a very good team, very well organised and have some very good players. So they won’t be underestimated by us. We’ll be ready to go come kick-off and put in a big performance.”

Daniel James: No Wales fans against Denmark ‘gutting’

Wales’ winger Daniel James believes that playing without their fans in the stadium for their Euro 2020 last-16 match against Denmark is “gutting”. “It’s obviously gutting not to have fans in a tournament like this,” James told Sky Sports News. “It’s something I’ve not been involved in before and listening to the stories of Euro 2016 and watching the games, it was absolutely brilliant to see fans there.

“We can’t make any excuses for the fans not being here. It’s something that’s been normal for the last year and a half now, so it is something all the players are used to. It’s something we can’t go into the game thinking about. We know they’re supporting from home, just like the other games. There may be more Danish fans there than Welsh fans, but it’s just like the Turkey game really and we won’t let that faze us.”

James also spoke about Eriksen’s collapse in the first game and how well Denmark recovered from that point onwards. “Obviously in the first game it was one that was very emotional for them,” James said. “The mental state they must have been in and having to carry on that game, I honestly don’t know how they did it. Full credit to them.

“The support for Eriksen has been absolutely brilliant. Thankful for all the people who were there that day to help him and it’s absolutely brilliant that he’s in recovery now and he’s fully well. It’s going to be an emotional game for them but it’s one I’m sure they’re going to be fully ready for.”

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