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Associated Press

June 14, 2021, 5:54 p.m. EDT

Stricken midfielder Eriksen encourages Danish teammates by video link two days after near-fatal cardiac incident

Associated Press

Christian Eriksen has told his Denmark teammates to look forward to their European Championship game against Belgium on Thursday.

Three of Denmark’s players have spoken to the media for the first time since Eriksen’s collapse during Saturday’s game against Finland at Euro 2020.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg says Eriksen delivered a message via video link from the hospital that he is doing OK and that they should try to focus on playing the next game. He says seeing Eriksen smile gave him ”a form of energy” and that the team will play in Eriksen’s honor against Belgium.

Forward Martin Braithwaite fought back tears as he described praying for Eriksen on the field as he was getting treatment. The 29-year-old midfielder was described by the Danish team doctor as having been in cardiac arrest on the pitch. “ He was gone ,” the doctor said, observing that Eriksen’s condition may not have been reversible had the match not taken place in a major tournament with top-flight medical facilities at hand.

Eriksen was resuscitated with a defibrillator.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel praised Denmark’s medical staff as ”heroes” who performed ”a miracle.”

The team physician for Inter Milan, the Serie A power for which Eriksen plays professionally, countered speculation that Eriksen may have experienced his medical emergency as a result of a vaccine side effect by noting that Eriksen had not received a vaccination against COVID-19, nor, according to the Italian club’s CEO, had he contracted the virus.

MarketWatch contributed.

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