Who could fail to be moved by last weekend’s events in Copenhagen?
As Denmark’s players formed a protective human wall around Christian Eriksen, the watching world was reminded that despite the rhetoric and hyperbole, football really isn’t that important at all.
Thankfully, due to the heroics of his teammates, match officials and the medical team around him, Eriksen survived his cardiac arrest and we all wish him a speedy recovery.
As the world watched and waited for news on his condition, there was a real sense of union with the Danish supporters in the Parken stadium that day.
They cried, we cried, they prayed, we prayed, and Finland’s supporters joined their hosts in chanting his name.
We were all behind Denmark and shared in the trauma and palpable sense of relief when Eriksen was whisked away to a nearby Copenhagen hospital to continue his recovery.
The fact that Denmark were then asked to complete the 50 or so remaining minutes of that Euro 2020 encounter with Finland on the very same evening as those events, will be remembered as particularly insensitive, but just a few days later, they were back in action against the highest-ranked side in the tournament, Belgium.
With the Belgians changing to an all-white away strip, the Danes called upon a recent addition to their kit-bag to avoid any clash with the white sleeves of their home shirts.
Hummel’s deep-red 3rd kit is a smart update of the once-ridiculed, Danish Dynamite design from Mexico ’86, now rightly regarded as an all-time classic.
There is an instant familiarity to those half and half shirts from 35 years ago, yet the modern edition echoes the trend for toned-down details, presenting a sharp, classy and timeless red shirt, perfect for the rigours of international football.
The usually vivid chevrons and white stripes associated with Hummel and Denmark are there, yet have been disguised in a darker shade of red that salutes the team’s faithful supporters, known as Den Røde Mur (The Red Wall).
On Thursday evening, Denmark raced to an early lead through Yussuf Poulsen before the star quality of a Kevin De Bruyne inspired Belgium came roaring back in the second half to win 2-1, leaving the Danes in need of a victory over Russia to stand a chance of making the tournament’s last sixteen.
This was one of those memorable nights, wrapped in emotion where players and fans united in solidarity with Eriksen, pausing the game in the 10th minute to toast the Inter Milan midfielder.
An alternative or third kit may be a rarity in international tournaments and smart as they are, there will be some who question the logic of a team having two kits in the same primary colour.
The choice of shirts was perfect for the occasion.
Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, once remarked that football was “the most important of the least important things,” and maybe that’s a healthy way to look at things.
That’s why we enjoyed the significance of Denmark wearing a shirt dedicated to their passionate supporters, reminding us that whether we are players or fans, we are a part of something bigger.