The Denmark midfielder collapsed to the turf during the first half of their Euro 2020 opener vs Finland in Copenhagen, with doctors confirming he suffered a cardiac arrest
Christian Eriksen’s Denmark teammates have opened up on the impact of the distressing incident which saw the midfielder collapse on the pitch.
The Inter Milan midfielder fell to the turf after suffering what we now know was a cardiac arrest.
Captain Simon Kjaer quickly put Eriksen into the recovery position, before medics gave him life-saving CPR.
It has subsequently been revealed that the 29-year-old needed a defibrillator after his pulse drastically altered.
Eriksen is now recovering in hospital and has sent his first public message, claiming he is feeling much better.
But it was a traumatic experience for both sets of players, with Denmark’s forming a wall around their teammate in order to provide him with the privacy and dignity he deserved.
With Eriksen hopefully now on the road to recovery, Kasper Hjulmand’s side will continue their Euro 2020 campaign this week, facing Belgium on Thursday night.
Three players that were on the pitch in Copenhagen, Martin Braithwaite, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and vice-captain Kasper Schmeichel have now addressed the press, discussing the incident, their reaction and how they intend to move forward.
Hojbjerg started the press-conference, saying: “Christian is alright and that’s the most important thing. With Christian telling us that means we can remain focused.
“At first I didn’t know what was happening, but then I saw Simon (Kjær) sprinting to Christian and more and more paramedics, doctors and other medical staff running to him performing CPR. That was strange and tough.”
Braithwaite then continued: “It was a friend and a teammate. Christian offers loads of love and happiness to us on the football pitch.
“It’s important for me that Christian is alright and thus I’m alright.
“I am still looking forward to showing how we can perform on the pitch on Thursday (Belgium) – and we all play for Christian.”
Denmark would resume their game with Finland a little over 90 minutes after Eriksen’s collapse, eventually losing 1-0.
Manager Hjulmand has already admitted his side should not have played, after UEFA offered them the option of either resuming then, or playing at midday on Sunday.
And Braithwaite also believes that players were not ready to compete, so shortly after the distressing incident.
“We had two options from UEFA, but many players were not ready to continue on.”
Schmeichel was on the scene to console Eriksen’s distraught wife and labelled the scene as “horrific”.
“This was a horrific experience,” he said. “Seeing a teammate and friend fighting for his life.
“I am very grateful for the medical staff and paramedics who helped Christian. It’s a miracle what they did.
“We are professional footballers and we dedicate our lives to play football. They (medical staff) are heroes and the only heroes.
“I acted on instinct and tried to help where I could. We have an amazing captain and coach (Kasper Hjulmand) who acted. There are no guidelines or rules in these situations.
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“I tried to intervene as I didn’t want his family watching this on the big screen.
“To receive the support from everyone; Danish Roligans [supporters], Finnish supporters and all over the World is heartwarming.”
As of Monday, no explanation has yet been given for Eriksen’s collapse with Denmark team doctor Martin Boesen confirming the initial tests showed no clear abnormalities.
Eriksen will remain in hospital in Copenhagen as he continues his recovery.