Christian Eriksen has released his first public statement since suffering a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 game with Finland, writes the DailyMail.
Eriksen is in a stable condition in hospital after collapsing on the pitch shortly before half-time. Medics gave the player emergency treatment and were able to save his life using CPR and a defibrillator.
The midfielder, who has been joined by his wife, children and parents at his hospital bedside, thanked fans and vowed not to give up in a short statement that has been released to Gazzetta dello Sport via his agent.
‘Thank you, I won’t give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what’s happened,’ he said.
‘I want to say thank you all for what you did for me.’
‘Now he just has to rest, with him are his wife and parents,’ Eriksen’s agent said.
‘He will remain under observation. But in any case he wants to cheer on his teammates against Belgium.’
In a video call from Eriksen to the team Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand said the 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder reassured the group that he was ‘more concerned’ about them.
Hjulmand said: ‘Christian was concerned about us and his family. He said, “I don’t remember much, I’m more concerned about how you guys are doing. I think you are feeling worse than I am. I feel as if I’m about to go training now, boys”.
‘That’s typical Christian. He’s a hell of a player, but what a person he is as well.
‘He would like us to play. It was good to see him smile and we will try to get ourselves together and play for Christian.
‘We will try to establish normality as much as possible. Maybe, for some, the time is too short to play football again, but maybe we can use it as a force to get together.’
Denmark’s team doctor Morten Boesen confirmed on Sunday: ‘He was gone.
‘We did cardiac resuscitation, it was cardiac arrest. How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib so that’s quite fast. We don’t have an explanation why it happened.’
Eriksen’s distraught team-mates formed a protective ring around the stricken player as he received treatment and have been given counselling to help them cope with the ordeal.
Peter Schmeichel, the father of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper, branded UEFA’s decision to make them complete the game later in the day as ‘absolutely ridiculous’ after Finland eventually won the Group B tie 1-0.
Hjulmand agreed that it was unfair to make his players choose between restarting it on Saturday night or at noon on Sunday.
‘It’s very difficult but, looking back, I think it was the wrong thing to make the decision between the two scenarios,’ said Hjulmand.
‘Players who were in a shock condition, players who didn’t really know yet if they had lost their best friend and they had to decide between these two things. Maybe we should just have got on the bus and gone home.
‘It was a tough message that the players had to make a decision. I had a sense it was wrong that they were given this situation.’
Denmark must now prepare for their second game of the Euros against Belgium at the same venue on Thursday, although Hjulmand said that speaking to Eriksen via videolink had helped his players.
Eriksen’s collapse in what was his 66th game in a year since football restarted after the pandemic came hours after players’ union FIFPro expressed their concerns over the physical toll of playing too much football.