“It happened on the day we were playing,” he remembers, speaking to Palace from the training camp in his native Belgium. The incident he is referring to shocked the football world to its core.
As Denmark, roared on by a boisterous home support in Copenhagen, looked to turn the screw on Finland, Christian Eriksen fell to the ground. It was immediately clear something was wrong.
As his teammates formed a protective ring to obscure his distress, and the medical staff administered CPR on the pitch, the footballing world watched in horror.
“We heard the news a couple of hours before we were playing,” Benteke remembers. “We were all so shocked. More than usual, because it happened in our tournament – it’s not like we’re away from football. We’re all involved, so it was a shock.”
What made the uncertainty worse in the Belgian camp were the number of Benteke’s teammates who count Eriksen not only as a teammate, but as a close friend.