Lukaku scores twice and sends message to Eriksen in Belgium’s win over Russia
12-Jun-2021 20:53:56 | The Guardian
To the extent that a night this fraught with worry could provide a moment of poetry, Romelu Lukaku found exactly what was required. Nothing could be more confronting to a footballer than seeing one of their own fight for his life on the pitch and, for a handful of Belgium’s players, the horror of events in Copenhagen held an even more personal dimension. Christian Eriksen has played with several of them at club level and, if any evidence were required of just how traumatic the build-up to this game had become, it was offered within 10 minutes of the start.
Lukaku and Eriksen have just won Serie A together with Internazionale and achievements of that stature create bonds for life. In Belgium’s first real attack against a shoddy Russia he was given a clear sight of goal by Andrei Semenov’s comical error and the finish was almost an afterthought. He sprinted straight to the touchline camera after finding the far corner of the net, only one person on his mind, and the emotions spilled out. “Chris, Chris, sterkte jongen [stay strong, boy], I love you,” Lukaku shouted while cupping the lens, a simple sentiment but one loaded with barely articulable meaning.
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