‘It was damn nice to see him smile’: Schmeichel cheered by visiting Eriksen
The Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has said they will play their remaining games at Euro 2020 in honour of Christian Eriksen, after visiting his recovering teammate in hospital. The midfielder collapsed in the 42nd minute of the match against Finland on Saturday and was resuscitated on the pitch.
“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,” Schmeichel told the 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.”
Schmeichel said he had visited Eriksen in 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.”
Denmark’s final two Group B games are against Belgium on Thursday and Russia next Monday. “We all play for Christian. That’s for sure,” Pierre-Emile Højbjerg told DR.
Eriksen’s agent, Martin Schoots, provided an update on the player’s condition. “He was joking and was in a good mood, I found him to be good,” Schoots told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We all want to find out what happened and so does he. The doctors are doing the tests and it will take some time. He was happy, because he has understood how much love there has been for him.
“There have been messages from all over the world. Christian won’t give in. He and his family are so grateful. Now he just needs to recover with his wife and his parents. He will stay at the hospital on Monday and maybe even on Tuesday. Either way he wants to support the team when they play Belgium.”
Denmark’s players expressed dissatisfaction on Monday at the position they were put in after Eriksen’s collapse. Uefa offered the players, who gathered in the locker room after witnessing Eriksen being treated on the pitch following a cardiac arrest, the choice of resuming the match on Saturday night or beginning again on Sunday at noon local time (10am GMT).
“We were put in a position I don’t think we should have been put in,” Schmeichel said. “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.”
European football’s governing body wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the match would be restarted “following the request made by players of both teams”.
Denmark’s Martin Braithwaite said on Monday: “We had two options. None of the options were good. 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.”