AC Milan and Denmark defender Simon Kjaer has spoken about the feeling of the absence of Christian Eriksen from Denmark’s EURO 2020 squad after the 29-year-old’s cardiac arrest ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.

Speaking in an official press conference after Denmark’s 4-1 win against Russia reported by Italian news outlet, the 32-year-old expressed the bittersweet feeling as the Danes progress into the knockout rounds but must do so without their captain.

Kjaer and Eriksen are rivals at club level, but play alongside each other as teammates for the Danish national team.

The Inter man is the official captain of the Danish team, but Kjaer is also a leader on and off the pitch for the squad.

Kjaer was also one of the first people to assist Eriksen when it became clear that the Inter midfielder was experiencing a health emergency during Denmark’s group stage opener against Finland last Saturday.

Kjaer’s words after the match:

“After everything we have been through in the last ten days, we deserved to go through. Things were what we expected before the tournament, but then became difficult. Now, we take it one match at a time”

On Eriksen he said:

“I wish he were on the pitch here with us, but now that we know that he’s fine we can share joy with him a little. He knows we’re playing for him, it’s very special.”

On the round-of-sixteen match against Wales awaiting Wales he said:

“They have fantastic players, but I also remember that we beat them not that long ago [in the Nations League in 2018]. Let’s see how far we get, let’s think about it one match at a time.”