In what was one of the most chilling moments to occur during a game, Eriksen went into cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland.
Two days after his collapse, the Danish soccer star has released messages to the public, per Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
“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.”
Eriksen’s teammates choked back tears as they formed a protective barrier to shield him from the view of the 15,000 silent spectators and the press as doctors performed 13 minutes of CPR and used a defibrillator on Eriksen. However, his collapse and some of his medical attention were broadcasted live by ESPN during the game.
According to the team doctor Morten Boesen, Eriksen “was gone” before resuscitation. “He was breathing, and I could feel his pulse. But suddenly that changed,” Boesen said Saturday. “And as everyone saw, we started giving him CPR.”
However, Eriksen eventually regained consciousness and was stretchered off the field, which was met with explosive cheers from the audience.
“We are in touch with him. We were in touch with him yesterday and today. [Eriksen’s] condition is the same as yesterday, stable, good,” Jakob Hoeyer, communications director at the Danish football association, said on Monday.
Denmark’s match against Finland was suspended as a result of Eriksen collapsing. The game later resumed where Finland won 1-0.
“Of course you can’t play a game with such feelings,” Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said. “What we tried to do was incredible. It’s incredible that the players managed to go out and try to play the second half.”
Danish players were critical of the UEFA making players decide immediately following Eriksen’s collapse whether they would resume the game that night or the next day. Hjulmand and many players felt that they shouldn’t have returned to the pitch and should have been offered a different option.
“We were put in a position which I personally don’t think we should have been put in,” goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel told reporters Monday. “It probably required that someone above us had said that it was not the time to make a decision and maybe should wait for the next day.”
“We had two options. None of the options were good,” striker Martin Braithwaite said. “We took the least bad one. There were a lot of players that weren’t able to play the match. They were elsewhere [mentally]. “You could have wished for a third option in this situation.”
However, according to Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Eriksen sent a video to his teammates and encouraged them to focus on their next game on Thursday against Belgium.