Spirit of Euros spurs Denmark Cup quest
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand believes the wave of emotive support that helped propel his side to the European Championship semi-finals 18 months ago is still present and hopes to use it for the World Cup in Qatar.
Denmark bounced back from the shock of seeing midfielder Christian Eriksen suffer a heart attack in their opening game to reach the final four of the Euros, willed on by sympathetic support and a determined spirit.
“When we went back after the Euros and started the World Cup qualification games, we didn’t know if it was only Euro football fever in Denmark. But it turned it was just football fever and it’s been crazy in Denmark ever since,” he said on Friday.
Hjulmand said the team had played even better in the World Cup qualifiers which came after the Euros, and where Denmark won nine of 10 matches.
Doha: Poland talisman Robert Lewandowski said he is preparing for the World Cup as if it could be his last, but the 34-year-old added that he would still be physically fit to play at the next edition in 2026.
“Is this my last World Cup? I don’t know,” Lewandowski told reporters in Doha on Friday. “I’m preparing as if it could be my last World Cup, but I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no. I realise that I will still be able to play in four years’ time.”
Doha: Argentina’s Joaquin Correa and Nicolas Gonzalez have been ruled out of the World Cup due to injuries, the Argentine Football Association said on Thursday.
Angel Correa has been called up to replace Gonzalez after the latter sustained a muscle injury. Joaquín will be replaced by Atlanta United forward Thiago Almada.
Amman: Spain left back Jose Gaya has withdrawn from their squad for the World Cup after suffering an ankle injury in training, the team announced on Friday. The statement said that Gaya suffered a low-grade lateral sprain in his right ankle.
Mexico City: The Central Bank of Ecuador has minted a commemorative coin to mark the South American country’s participation in Qatar. As a tribute to the Ecuador national team’s fourth appearance in the World Cup finals, about 1,500 units of the special coin will be available in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca from Friday.