Eriksen’s condition still stable after collapse

Danish player Christian Eriksen’s condition is still stable and “good” since he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during his side’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland.

“We are in touch with him. We were in touch with him yesterday and today. (His) condition is the same as yesterday — stable, good,” Jakob Hoeyer, communications director at the Danish football association, told reporters on Monday.

Denmark’s other players, meanwhile, said they would play their coming games in the Euros in honour of their team mate, who collapsed in the 42nd minute of the match on Saturday and was treated on the pitch before being taken to hospital.

“We’re still in the tournament. Now, we have to try to see if we can win this and do it for Christian and do it for all the fans who sat with us and were just as powerless in the situation as we were,” Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel told broadcaster DR.

“I have no doubt that this team has the unity, the strength to be able to come together and go out and do something special”, he added.

Schmeichel said he had also visited Eriksen at the hospital: “It was damn nice to see him smile and laugh and be himself and just feel that he is there. It was a great experience and something that has helped me a lot”.

Schmeichel and other players were meeting the press for the first time since the match against Finland, which the Danes lost 0-1.

Denmark still has a chance of reviving their Euro 2020 hopes in the final two Group B games against Belgium on Thursday and Russia on June 21.

“We all play for Christian. That’s for sure,” Danish player Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg told DR.

Eriksen’s agent said the player is undergoing detailed examinations after the Denmark international collapsed with a cardiac arrest during his side’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland on Saturday.

“We all want to understand what happened to him and he wants to as well. The doctors are doing some detailed examinations, it will take time,” Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday cited Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoots as saying.

“Christian does not give up. Him and his family want to send everyone their thanks.”

“We spoke this morning (Sunday). He was joking around and in good spirits, he was doing well,” he added.

The incident raises questions around the workload players have been subjected to. Eriksen was playing in his 66th competitive game in the one year since soccer restarted following a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The messages of support for Eriksen have come pouring in, from within the game and beyond, something that Schoots said has helped cheer up the Dane.

“He was happy because he understood how much love he has around him,” Schoots added.

“He received messages from all over the world.

“He was particularly struck by those from the world of Inter Milan; not just from his teammates, who he heard from through texts, but also the fans.

“Half the world has contacted us, everyone is worried. Now he just needs to rest. His wife and parents are with him. But, in any case, he wants to support his teammates against Belgium.”

Meanwhile Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba said Christian Eriksen’s collapse brought back painful memories of his own cardiac arrest and that the Dane’s toughest challenge in recovering from the incident will be a mental one.

Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch in an FA Cup match in 2012 and was technically dead for 78 minutes, said it took him more than a year to come to terms with the incident, which forced him to retire at the age of 24.

“It’s too early to know about his physical health, but I can share something of the mental battle which, in many ways, is the toughest part of the journey ahead,” Muamba wrote in his column for The Times newspaper.

“My advice is to take a step back and take all the time he needs because it will definitely affect him mentally, and his family.

“That worry plays in your head, whatever the doctors tell you. It’s not easy to get over.”

Muamba said Eriksen’s team mates, who shielded him from the crowd and cameras as he received CPR on the field, would also need support.

“They didn’t know if their friend was going to survive,” Muamba added. “I thought the way the Denmark players surrounded him — to protect him — was amazing to witness.”

Scotland captain Andy Robertson said Denmark players were “heroes” for shielding Eriksen from the crowd and cameras when he received CPR on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Euro 2020 match against Finland.

“The way the Danish players dealt with what must have been a heart-breaking thing for all of them, they stood up to it,” Robertson said.

“That will be the picture I remember and everyone should remember because, when one of their friends was in a bad place, they stood up and protected him.

“Whatever else happens in this tournament, for me they will be the heroes.”

Scotland open their campaign against Czech Republic later on Monday.

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