After going through a horrifying ordeal in their opening match of the tournament, Jannik Vestergaard’s Denmark have roared through to the knockout stages at Euro 2020 in fairytale fashion.
Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest midway through the clash with Finland traumatised those watching on in Copenhagen, putting any thoughts of progression at the very back of Danish minds as the theatre of football was surpassed by a wave of prayers and well-wishes sent the way of the former Tottenham midfielder.
Buoyed by the 29-year-old’s positive recovery in hospital, Denmark put on a display of national togetherness against Belgium to lead for almost an hour, before the Red Devils came out on top to inflict a second group stage defeat and leave the odds stacked against Kasper Hjulmand’s side.
However, just nine days after Parken Stadium hosted by far the worst memory of Euro 2020, it provided the stage for the best as Denmark hammered Russia 4-1, which, coupled with Belgium’s defeat of Finland, secured the unlikeliest of progressions from Group B.
Featuring in all three matches and experiencing almost every emotion there is to feel, Vestergaard will likely line-up once again at the heart of Denmark’s defence against Wales on Saturday, hoping to help his nation reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.
If they are to do so, they'll have to overcome a Wales side who quietly went about their business in Group A, claiming victory over Turkey and a gutsy draw with Switzerland to finish up behind first-placed Italy.
With Denmark now leaving Copenhagen for Amsterdam, the Danes will hope the new surroundings feel like a home-from-home with Wales fans forbidden to travel and Danish supporters expected en masse.
If the spirit of Parken Stadium can be resurrected inside the Johan Cruyff Arena, most people’s adopted second nation will fancy their chances of continuing the most wholesome story of the tournament.
Wales vs Denmark, Saturday 26th June, 5pm BST.