Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku said he shed tears for Christian Eriksen before dedicating his two-goal haul in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Russia at Euro 2020 to his stricken Inter Milan team-mate.
“I am really happy with the win, but it was hard for me to play because my thoughts were with Christian Eriksen — I dedicate this to him,” said Lukaku, the man-of-the-match in Saint Petersburg.
Lukaku gave Belgium an early lead, then shouted “Chris, Chris, stay strong — I love you” into a pitch side camera during the celebration for his opening goal.
Eriksen is recovering in hospital in Copenhagen after collapsing on the pitch during extraordinary scenes which overshadowed Denmark’s 1-0 home defeat by Finland in Saturday’s earlier Group B game.
In Saint Petersburg, Belgian substitute Thomas Meunier doubled Belgium’s lead on 34 minutes before Lukaku put the result beyond doubt with a late second goal.
“I cried a few tears before the game,” Lukaku revealed after the final whistle.
“I spent a lot of time with him,” Lukaku said of Eriksen after the pair won the Serie A title with Inter last season. “My thoughts go to his wife and kids.”
Lukaku has now scored 20 goals in his last 15 international games.