Qatar's World Cup organising committee says sportswear maker Hummel is "trivialising" efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers after revealing Denmark's toned-down kit in protest at the issue.

Hummel, which is the Danish football team's long-term kit supplier, released the side's 2022 World Cup jerseys on Wednesday, including a black third-choice design which is described as the "colour of mourning", to honour migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) promised in November its teams would wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup, and while FIFA rules prohibit political statements, the team uniform is a major change to their iconic kits.

The three Denmark kits are all-red, all-white and all-black, with their iconic white chevrons faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

"This shirt carries with it a message," Hummel said. "We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

"We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation."

Qatar's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), responded to the kit release by disputing Hummel's claims, arguing it trivialised a "genuine commitment to protect the health and safety" of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under-reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel's statement claiming it was "thousands".

"We dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives," the QSC statement said.

"Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising [of] our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

"We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

Qatar's World Cup organising committee says sportswear maker Hummel is "trivializing" their efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers after revealing Denmark's toned-down kit in protest at the issue.

Hummel, who are the Danish football team's long-term kit supplier, released the side's 2022 World Cup jerseys on Wednesday, including a black third-choice design which is the "color of mourning", to honour the migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) promised in November to wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup and while FIFA rules prohibit political statements, the team uniform is a major change to their iconic kits.

The three Denmark kits are all-red, all-white and all-black, with their iconic white chevrons faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

"This shirt carries with it a message," Hummel said. "We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

"We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation."

Qatar's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), responded to the kit release by disputing Hummel's claims, arguing it trivialised their "genuine commitment to protect the health and safety" of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel's statement claiming it was "thousands".

"We dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives," the QSC statement said.

"Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

"We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

Qatar's World Cup organising committee says sportswear maker Hummel is "trivializing" their efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers after revealing Denmark's toned-down kit in protest at the issue.

Hummel, who are the Danish football team's long-term kit supplier, released the side's 2022 World Cup jerseys on Wednesday, including a black third-choice design which is the "color of mourning", to honour the migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) promised in November to wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup and while FIFA rules prohibit political statements, the team uniform is a major change to their iconic kits.

The three Denmark kits are all-red, all-white and all-black, with their iconic white chevrons faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

"This shirt carries with it a message," Hummel said. "We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

"We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation."

Qatar's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), responded to the kit release by disputing Hummel's claims, arguing it trivialised their "genuine commitment to protect the health and safety" of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel's statement claiming it was "thousands".

"We dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives," the QSC statement said.

"Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

"We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

Christian Eriksen's quick emergence as a key player at Manchester United has not surprised former Red Devils midfielder Michael Carrick.

Denmark international Eriksen joined United on a free transfer in pre-season after playing the second half of the 2021-22 campaign with Brentford.

It was initially unclear how United would fit Eriksen into the team given the importance of Bruno Fernandes, but Erik ten Hag's inability to land key transfer target Frenkie de Jong seemingly made the decision for him.

Eriksen has generally featured slightly deeper than Fernandes and the pair's collective creativity has been a real asset for United in midfield.

That was particularly plain to see in the impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal, as Eriksen's passes to Fernandes were crucial in the build-up to two of United's goals.

Of the United players to feature for more than 190 minutes in the league this season, no one has averaged more passes (50.4), successful passes ending in the final third (11.2) or passes into the box (5.6) on a per-90-minute basis than Eriksen, highlighting how quickly he has managed to stamp his personality on their style of play.

"I'm not surprised one bit," Carrick told United's official website.

"I played against him a lot; I've watched him a lot. I like him a lot. He's a fantastic footballer. He's clever, he's smart.

"It almost doesn't matter what position he plays, he can adapt. He's just a clever, intelligent footballer with great quality.

"I was pleased when we signed him, and he's not surprised me one bit. He's a top player."

Eriksen carried his encouraging United form – which earned him their Player of the Month award for September – with him into the international window, impressing for Denmark over the course of their two games.

He scored a stunning long-range effort in the 2-1 defeat to Croatia before producing a wonderful performance in Sunday's 2-0 win over France as he remarkably laid on eight chances for team-mates.

To put that into context, Eriksen has only registered more key passes in a single club match twice (nine both occasions) since joining Tottenham from Ajax in 2013.

France boss Didier Deschamps insisted his side are far from "a shipwreck" after losing 2-0 to Denmark in their final game before heading to Qatar 2022.

Les Bleus will head into their World Cup trophy defence in November on the back of a poor Nations League campaign that saw them limp home third in Group A1.

Three losses in competitive matches since March means France have already matched their worst-ever record in that regard for a calendar year.

Having been tipped as strong contenders to be world champions again, France's second loss to the Danes in 2022 – ahead of a Group D battle between the teams in Qatar – has set off alarm bells among supporters.

Deschamps, who guided the team to glory at Russia 2018, has pushed back against suggestions his side are in crisis, pointing to both his decision to field a younger side and comparing France's form to other major rivals struggling for results.

"I don't think it's a shipwreck," he told TF1. "We had a lot of chances. We were weak, we made errors when playing out from the back.

"It is a young French side, which in the most part doesn't have players with experience at the very highest level. It is not a question of systems.

"We mustn't worry. Having the players with international experience back will do us good. There's no worrying. It's difficult for everyone.

"Yesterday, I was watching other games. There are other big teams losing as well. We shouldn't think of ourselves as better than them. We are going to have to fight."

Deschamps added: "I'm not going to darken the situation any further. This is a reminder of what will be waiting for us in two months."

Kylian Mbappe struggled in parts against Denmark, and looked to be nursing a minor knock at one point, but Deschamps was quick to assure that he is unconcerned about the Paris Saint-Germain forward's game.

"Kylian has done a lot of good things. He's also one of the few players to have played 90 minutes twice in three days," Deschamps said.

"He cannot do everything. He was more decisive three days ago, yes, but like the whole team, I am not worried about Kylian."

Denmark threw down a gauntlet for the Qatar 2022 World Cup with a 2-0 win over France, only to narrowly miss out on the Nations League Finals.

First-half goals for Kasper Dolberg and Andreas Skov Olsen put the Danes firmly in the frame to reach next year's final four, only for rivals Croatia to net twice in the second half to beat Austria and finish top of Group A1.

Nevertheless, an assured victory over World Cup holders France in Copenhagen offered a sharp reminder of Denmark's dark horse credentials for Qatar, after also reaching the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

Austria's defeat ensured Les Bleus dodged relegation to the second tier, but for Didier Deschamps, alarm bells may be ringing after a lacklustre campaign.

With the risk of the drop breathing down their necks, it was the visitors who started sharpest, with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann delivering early tests for Kasper Schmeichel.

Yet Denmark steadily gained ground, and when Dolberg lunged by the left post to meet Mikkel Damsgaard's cross and bobble a finish over Alphonse Areola in the 34th minute, their lead was not an unworthy one.

Olsen's rocket of a volley through a crowded box after a poorly fielded corner was a fine finish too, five minutes later, and it was France who went into the sheds on the back foot.

Attempts to fight back after the interval were frequent, if speculative, with Mbappe almost catching Schmeichel out twice, but Denmark's game management proved too shrewd to be broken, seeing them through for a famous win.

Luka Modric says he is not thinking about any international retirement call ahead of Croatia's Nations League clash with Denmark.

The Real Madrid veteran is looking to skipper his country through to next year's finals in their last major pre-Qatar 2022 World Cup run-out.

Four years on from reaching the final at Russia 2018, Modric is among the elder statesman of the world game on the pitch, at 37, with many wondering if this year's tournament will be his international swansong.

But speaking ahead of their Group A1 encounter at Stadion Maksimir, the playmaker has poured cold water over any imminent exit talk and suggested whatever decision he makes will likely wait for the new year.

"I'm not thinking about that," Modric stated. "I haven't made any decisions. I'm focused on the Nations League.

"We have an opportunity to qualify for the last four, then we have the World Cup and then we will see.

"I'll try to make the best decision. At that that time, I'll talk with our head coach, with the people I trust. I'm not thinking about that at the moment."

Between Croatia's hopes of a finals spot stands Denmark, atop Group A1 and out to follow up last year's Euro 2020 semi-final with another impressive tournament run.

Modric is under no illusion what challenge they possess, adding: "Denmark is an excellent team. I think the biggest strength is the unity of the group itself.

"There are many excellent players, like [Christian] Eriksen or [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg from Tottenham. [But] their biggest strength is the group.

"[It is] the togetherness, the fighting spirit, and we need to perform the same way if we want to achieve a good result."

Didier Deschamps insisted he will not take a half-fit Paul Pogba to the World Cup after France saw several stars ruled out of their upcoming Nations League fixtures.

Pogba has yet to make a competitive appearance since returning to Juventus on a free transfer in July. He is a doubt for the tournament in Qatar after opting to undergo surgery to solve a lesion to the lateral meniscus in his right knee.

The 2018 World Cup winner is not the only injury concern for Deschamps ahead of Nations League contests with Austria and Denmark this month.

Real Madrid talisman Karim Benzema has been left out of their squad after suffering a knee injury, though Carlo Ancelotti said the striker was "progressing well" earlier this week.

Meanwhile, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman are also out.

Pogba's injury is the most worrying for Deschamps, who was unable to offer any update on his condition on Thursday.

"It is impossible today to affirm anything [except] through the intervention and the treatment protocol he has," Deschamps said.

"I know very well Paul, with whom I talk regularly. Today, no one, even him, can say whether he will be there [at the World Cup]. I don't know if he can be cured.

"Since I've been here, I've never for a single final tournament taken a player if he was not fully recovered. Paul, he's not here to amuse the gallery.

"If he is recovered, it would be a very good thing. He won't come if he's not fit. He doesn't want that either. It's inconceivable. The number of players who will be there, they will all be ready to play.

"It is a question in relation to the competition, those who will be selected will be able to answer these requirements."

Benzema's absence means Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann could be handed an opportunity in Les Bleus' upcoming games, despite seeing his game-time limited at club level this season.

With Atleti reportedly looking to avoid meeting a purchase clause in Griezmann's loan deal, the striker has played just 192 minutes in all competitions this season, though he has still found the net three times.

Deschamps is not concerned by the 31-year-old's lack of action, adding: "At least he's not tired. He has a situation that you know limits his playing time.

"He remains an important and decisive player for his club. He aspires to better, to do more. It's been a good moment [even though] he hasn't done a full 90 minutes."

Deschamps has named three uncapped players in his 23-man squad for this month's fixtures: Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani, and Monaco duo Youssouf Fofana and Benoit Badiashile.

France have posted two draws and two defeats in their first four games in Group A1 of the Nations League, leaving the world champions battling relegation from the competition's top tier. They host Austria on September 22 and travel to face Denmark three days later.

France squad: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Milan); Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United); Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid); Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid); Olivier Giroud (Milan), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Christian Eriksen revealed Erik ten Hag's brand of football was a major factor behind his desire to join Manchester United, as he targets World Cup duty with Denmark.

Eriksen arrived at United on a three-year deal this month, having impressed during a short-term spell at Brentford as he made his comeback from suffering a cardiac arrest at the European Championship in June of last year.

Several sides expressed an interest in the midfielder – including his old club Tottenham – but Eriksen decided to link up with another former Ajax favourite in new United boss Ten Hag.

United have impressed in pre-season as Ten Hag bids to implement a more proactive style of play at Old Trafford, and the playmaker is relishing the prospect of turning out for the Dutchman's new-look team.

Asked how influential Ten Hag was in his decision to join United, Eriksen told the club's website: "Very. I want to come here to play football, I didn't come just for the logo itself.

"To speak with the manager, and hear his ideas and have conversations with him on football terms, was great for me to get the decision of coming to Manchester United.

"I think, with the idea of the manager coming in and the ideas he had, and also with my conversations with him, I could see myself playing football in Manchester.

"I think my style of play hopefully fits in his ideas, and it's hopefully something that will connect in a good and positive way. So of course, this style of football, I think it suits me.

"At the same time, it's a very, very big club – if not the biggest. It has a big history, and it's a nice feeling to be part of something that is that big in history.

"The only aim is to go as high as possible and see where it takes us, the aim is definitely to win something."

Eriksen scored one goal and added four assists in 11 Premier League appearances for Brentford, creating 30 chances after making his Bees debut in March, a tally bettered only by Martin Odegaard (38) and Kevin De Bruyne (42) throughout the division.

Meanwhile, since Eriksen made his Premier League bow for Tottenham in September 2013, only De Bruyne (85) has racked up more than his 66 assists in the competition – despite the Dane spending 18 months at Inter and a further half-season out of the game.

Having left Spurs for the Serie A giants in January 2020, Eriksen doubted whether he would return to the Premier League, but he remains grateful for Brentford's role in his comeback.

He said: "I think from my career path, before my incident in the Euros, I wasn't planning to go back to the UK at all. To sit here is definitely something I didn't expect.

"Back then, I wanted to try something new and left Spurs after more than seven years. I went to Italy and it started off tough but ended up being a very, very good place."

Asked about his time with Thomas Frank's Bees, Eriksen added: "I'm forever grateful for what they did. They showed they cared from day one, for wanting me back and being able to give me the stage to perform."

Eriksen also made an emotional return to international football in March, scoring with his first touch in Denmark's defeat to the Netherlands.

With Kasper Hjulmand's team preparing for a World Cup campaign in Qatar later this year, Eriksen says featuring at the tournament for a third time remains an ambition.

"From when I did my rehab last year, that was the aim. The dream was obviously to be back and in condition to go to the World Cup if I could," Eriksen said. "It's something I think we all dream about, playing in the World Cup. It's something that you keep with you forever."

They were the unlikeliest of all European champions and to this day remain the poster boys for all underdogs.

Denmark, the Euro 92 winners, gave hope to generations of teams that would follow them onto the big stage.

How could a nation with a population of a little over five million in 1992 sweep away the competition, when that competition looked so formidable?

Michel Platini's France squad boasted Papin, Cantona, Deschamps, Blanc and Boli; Germany had Klinsmann, Hassler, Moller and World Cup final match-winner Brehme; the Netherlands fielded Van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard and a young Bergkamp.

Nobody was tipping Denmark, who were called into the tournament 10 days before it began after the expulsion of Yugoslavia, a decision taken by UEFA amid war in the Balkans.

Denmark have given hope to teams who logically should have none. This hope has often been outrageously misplaced. The notion that 'if Denmark can do it, so can we' is a fallacy. The Danes opened the door and fantasists walked through.

The 1992 Denmark team were a band of brothers who seized their unexpected opportunity, facing on-field and off-field challenges along the way. Thirty years since the June 26 final, we celebrate them.

HOW ON EARTH DID THEY DO IT?

There was little indication of what was to come when Denmark followed a 0-0 draw against England by losing 1-0 to hosts Sweden; however, a 2-1 victory over France in Malmo snapped the watching continent to attention.

Peter Schmeichel. John Jensen. Brian Laudrup. Kim Vilfort. Torben Piechnik. The football world knew about goalkeeper Schmeichel, a year into his Manchester United career, and Laudrup was Denmark's star outfielder. But many in their side were barely known outside Denmark. Twelve of their 20 still played in the Danish league.

Michael Laudrup was in international exile, after he and Brian quit the national team in late 1990, unimpressed with new coach Richard Moller Nielsen. Brian came back shortly before the Euros, but Barcelona forward Michael continued to give international football a swerve. Denmark got by without him.

"We were very fortunate that we were one group of people who felt like pioneers in Danish football," Schmeichel told UEFA.com. "We felt we had responsibility to break the waves and go against the tide and prove to everyone that we can compete."

He said it was a "myth" that the Danes had been summoned from the beach, not least because the Danish season was still in full swing.

It was "like a funeral" in the Denmark dressing room after the England stalemate, according to Schmeichel.

"But from that moment on we felt we were definitely in a position where we can compete in this tournament," he said.

SLAYING THE GIANTS

In an eight-team tournament, scraping through in second place from Group 1 meant the Danes went straight into a semi-final.

Getting the better of the Netherlands looked beyond Denmark, given the defending champions were so strong.

Both teams knew Germany were waiting in the final, having got the better of Sweden 3-2 in the first semi-final. The Netherlands had beaten Germany in the group stage, but their hopes of a second clash with Berti Vogts' side were to be shattered in Gothenburg.

Henrik Larsen's double either side of a Bergkamp strike almost gave the Danes victory in 90 minutes, but Frank Rijkaard grabbed a late leveller. When it came to penalties, Schmeichel's save from Marco van Basten made all the difference, every other player scoring from the spot as Kim Christofte sealed the shoot-out success.

In an interview at the FIFA Best awards in 2022, Schmeichel recalled how he had found inspiration in the national team from a young age.

"I have to go back to even 1984 when Denmark lost to Spain in the semi-finals of the Euros," Schmeichel said.

"I was in the generation that came after that and [took] the inspiration from that, and the understanding that even though we are from a small country with a limited number of people playing football, if you work hard and look for your luck, and we always produce skilful players, then there is an opportunity to create very, very good results."

Denmark were winning their battles on the pitch, but the most important struggle was being fought away from the spotlight, with Vilfort's young daughter Line battling leukaemia.

He missed the France game to be with his family in Copenhagen but returned to Sweden before the semi-final. A movie dramatisation of Denmark's great triumph that summer portrayed Line telling her father he should go back and join his team-mates.

Come the June 26 final against Germany, the Danes were not alone in thinking the improbable might just be possible.

At the Ullevi stadium, Germany began strongly but were caught out in the 18th minute when Jensen sent a sizzling strike past Bodo Illgner.

Schmeichel and his defence defied Germany, and in the 78th minute came a magical moment for Vilfort when he found space between Brehme and Thomas Helmer before sending a low left-footed shot in off the right post, sealing a 2-0 win.

Schmeichel said Denmark's achievement came "from not accepting we're a small country".

"If we get the right circumstances, we can go and do whatever job we want to do, so it's more a mentality thing," he said. "I think that, more than anything, was why we won the European Championship. It was magical and unexpected."

Coach Moller Nielsen later reflected on his sudden change of plans for June 1992.

Moller Nielsen, who died in 2014, was quoted by UEFA as saying: "I was supposed to fit a new kitchen [in my house] but then we were called away to play in Sweden. The kitchen is finished now. I got a professional decorator to do it."

From a hospital bed, Line Vilfort got to see her father lead Denmark to the country's greatest footballing success.

She died a few weeks later, at the age of seven. Dad was a national hero, but this would be the cruellest of final chapters in the story of these great Danes, a personal tragedy amid a summer-long national celebration.

Andreas Christensen hopes he will soon be able to announce his next club after leaving Chelsea, as the Dane fuelled speculation he will join Barcelona by hailing the Blaugrana as one of Europe's biggest clubs.

Chelsea announced Christensen's departure last week, with the defender having been strongly linked with Barca.

Christensen joined Chelsea from Brondby in 2012 and after a spell on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, went on to make 161 appearances for the Blues, winning the Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Having played the full 90 minutes during Denmark's 2-0 Nations League win over Austria on Monday, the 26-year-old hopes to announce his next destination shortly, having made his decision some time ago.

"I know where I have to play," the defender told reporters.

Pressed on when an announcement regarding his future could be expected, he responded: "Unfortunately, it's not entirely up to me. There are also other things that need to fall into place.

"Hopefully soon. But I have known what I was going to do for a while. I'm just waiting for the right time."

Barcelona have been beset by financial difficulties in recent years, with LaLiga president Javier Tebas recently suggesting Xavi's team must sell prized assets – such as midfielder Frenkie de Jong – in order to fund any rebuild of their squad during the transfer window.

However, Christensen, who has been touted to provide competition for current Barca centre-backs Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo, says Barca are a team that would interest any player. 

"It is one of the biggest clubs in Europe," he added. "I think it is for everyone.

"Whether they have had their problems or not, it is still one of the biggest clubs for a player to get to."

Austria manager Ralf Rangnick says it is "an absolute miracle" Christian Eriksen is alive, let alone playing football again without any worries.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020 a year ago and was brought back to life on the pitch.

However, the 30-year-old was unable to play for Inter on medical grounds as Italy prevent players from competing after having a cardioverter-defibrillator fitted.

Brentford offered the midfielder a six-month contract in January and he subsequently delivered, scoring once and assisting four to help the Bees away from the relegation zone.

Thomas Frank remains hopeful of keeping Eriksen at the Brentford Community Stadium next season, despite interest from Manchester United and former club Tottenham.

Rangnick, speaking before Austria's Nations League clash with Denmark on Monday, cannot believe that Eriksen is back on the football pitch exactly a year on from the issues on June 12.

"It's an absolute miracle [that Christian Eriksen is still alive]. I can remember the pictures of the team forming a circle around him as he was being treated," Rangnick told reporters. 

"It really was a matter of life and death. If anyone had predicted at the time that months later, six months later, he would be able to play football again, he would not have believed it.

"I talked to Kasper [Schmeichel] about it before the game, and he also said he doesn't worry about [Eriksen] anymore, because Eriksen enjoys it, he has no problems at all anymore so sees no problems playing.

"And it's extraordinary that when something like this happens to you, that you go about your job and play again without any worries. This is also something extraordinary."

France's surprise 2-1 loss to Denmark in the opening game of their Nations League title defence was down to a lack of sharpness, according to assistant boss Guy Stephan.

Substitute Andreas Cornelius scored twice for Denmark in Friday's contest at Stade de France, where Les Blues had taken the lead through Karim Benzema's 51st-minute strike.

The defeat is France's first inside 90 minutes in a competitive game on home soil since losing 1-0 to Spain in March 2013.

It is also the first time the reigning World Cup winners have lost a game in which they have led since going down 3-2 to Colombia in a friendly a little over four years ago.

And at the end of a long season, France coach Stephan – filling in for Didier Deschamps, who is mourning the passing of his father – believes fatigue played a big part.

"We knew that Denmark were a good team, with a very good structure," Stephan told M6. 

"Without looking for an excuse, we're coming to the end of a season in which the players have played a lot. I have nothing to blame them for.

"It was a match between two good teams. We had some good spells and some less good spells.

"We just needed some freshness to be able to express ourselves and we didn't have that today."

 

The hosts had 19 shots to Denmark's eight, yet Cornelius' double – making him the first substitute to score twice against France – earned his side a shock win in Paris.

Cornelius volleyed in from a fine Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pass for his opener and then thumped a winner past Hugo Lloris at his near post two minutes from time.

"There are never good times to suffer defeats," Lloris told M6. "There's still a long time to go until the World Cup, though of course it's never good to start a campaign with a defeat.

"We fell against a good, well-organised team. At 1-0 we had chances for a second, but we were so committed to the attack that there were also risks that Denmark exploited."

France replaced Kylian Mbappe with Christopher Nkunku at half-time, which Stephan confirmed was a precautionary measure after the Paris Saint-Germain star injured his knee.

Raphael Varane also hobbled off in the second half and will undergo a scan on his thigh ahead of Monday's trip to Croatia in Les Blues' second Group A1 outing.

Deschamps is set to return to the France camp on Saturday ahead of that game, which takes on added importance following Croatia's 3-0 loss to Austria elsewhere on Friday.

Andreas Cornelius struck twice in the second half as France's Nations League title defence began with a shock 2-1 loss to Denmark in Paris.

France took the lead through Karim Benzema at the Stade de France, the venue where he lifted the Champions League with Real Madrid six days earlier, but they were unable to see out the win.

Trabzonspor striker Cornelius volleyed in a delightful equaliser and then fired in a winner two minutes from time to stun France, who lost Kylian Mbappe to a first-half injury.

Denmark join Austria, who beat Croatia 3-0 elsewhere on Friday, at the top of Group A1.

The visitors enjoyed a near-perfect campaign in qualifying for Qatar 2022, where they will meet France in the group stage, and started the brighter in this contest.

Kasper Dolberg got in behind the home defence inside the first three minutes and picked out Joakim Maehle, who hit the outside of the post with the angle against him.

France soon grew into the game, with Benzema having a goal-bound shot blocked by Jannik Vestergaard and a low strike past Kasper Schmeichel ruled out for offside.

Mbappe sustained an injury shortly before half-time and played no part after the break, but Didier Deschamps' men did not require long to open the scoring in the second half.

Benzema played a one-two with Mbappe's replacement Christopher Nkunku, took the ball past three opposition players and slid the ball away from Schmeichel for the 51st-minute opener.

Les Blues did not build on that lead, however, as Cornelius flashed a first-time finish past Hugo Lloris in the 68th minute with the side of his boot after being spotted by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

N'Golo Kante hit the post with a curled effort, but it was Cornelius who had the final say in Paris with a thumping finish into the roof of the net at Lloris' near post.

Kylian Mbappe was forced off the field at half-time in France's Nations League opener against Denmark on Friday.

The striker, who last month signed a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain despite interest from Real Madrid, sustained a knee injury towards the end of the goalless first half.

He pulled up with nobody around him and did not return to field for the start of the second period, with Christopher Nkunku introduced in his place.

Mbappe limping down the tunnel would have been a concern for Didier Deschamps, whose side have three more Nations League games to come in the next 10 days.

However, Deschamps' assistant Guy Stephan confirmed to French outlet M6 that the substitution was purely precautionary.

Mbappe watched the second half from the substitutes' bench at Stade de France with his leg heavily strapped.

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