Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has called it ‘damn nice’ to see Christian Eriksen smiling and laughing in hospital as he continues to recover from a life threatening cardiac arrest suffered during Saturday’s Euro 2020 clash between Denmark and Finland.
Eriksen collapsed suddenly in the closing stages of the first half. Denmark captain Simon Kjaer instantly initiated CPR before medics took over and began treating the Inter play-maker. The Danish team then formed a protective ring to protect their friend and colleague’s privacy.
Eriksen was transferred to hospital and was soon in a stable condition, much to the relief of the watching world. The match, which had been temporarily abandoned, was resumed shortly afterwards. The Danes went on to lose, but Eriksen’s health has been the most important thing.
“It was damn nice to see him smile and laugh and be himself,” Schmeichel is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. “Just to notice that he is there. It was a wonderful experience and something that has helped me see that he was okay after lying there.
“We talked about nothing and everything. As long as he is well, that is the most important thing. He has experienced something that we have not experienced. He has a completely different experience of the situation. It was great to talk to him.
“I have chosen to say to myself that this has had a happy ending. It’s not the end yet, but it could have been so much worse.”
Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen revealed on Sunday that Eriksen would have died without the swift actions of his teammates, referee Anthony Taylor and the Danish medical team, admitting that the 29-year-old was ‘gone’ when the resuscitation attempt first began.
“We got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast,” a relieved Boesen explained.
In the wake of the match, with Finland going on to score and win once play was resumed, Schmeichel has suggested the Danish players were put in an unfair position over how the situation was handled. Ultimately it was the players who are credited with making the decision to carry on that same night, but they weren’t exactly given many choices.
One was to continue playing straight away, the other was to return and complete the match the following day. Schmeichel’s father, Peter, has also since claimed that a third choice presented to the Danish team was to forfeit the game, which would have been recorded as a 3-0 defeat.
“We were put in a position that I personally do not feel was fair,” Schmeichel Jr. said.
“We had two choices. It probably required that there was someone higher up than us who said it was not the time to make a decision. A decision about the game should probably not have been made in the heat of the moment.”