For the first time since his cardiac arrest, Christian Eriksen has released a message to the public.
The 29-year-old midfielder “won’t give up” and wants to “understand what happened” when he collapsed in-game on Saturday.
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.
On Sunday, the Danish Football Association announced that Eriksen was in stable condition, but would be held in the hospital for further examination.
“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.
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.