Kasper Schmeichel, the 34-year-old Leicester City goalkeeper who serves as Denmark’s national team captain, has revealed that he has seen teammate Christian Eriksen after visiting him in the hospital.
Eriksen, 29-years-old, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match against Finland. Eriksen — who team doctors say was “gone” — was resuscitated after one defibrillation and was conscious when he was taken off the pitch and to the hospital, where he has remained since for further tests and recovery.
Schmeichel has since gone to see Eriksen at the hospital and has provided a remarkable perspective on the near-tragedy:
“It was damn nice to see him smile and laugh and be himself. Just to notice that he is there. It was a wonderful experience and something that has helped me see that he was okay after lying there.
The hardest part was what could happen. And the idea that his wife and kids should sit and watch it. It was definitely the hardest part. Personally, I tried to imagine if it was me who was lying there. I knew Christian’s wife, children, and parents were there, so at one point I tried to look for them.”
Ultimately, Schmeichel seems to be trying to escape from the harrowing experience with a commendable glass-half-full attitude:
“We need to try to turn this into something positive, into something motivating. And we must remember that there is something positive in this: it’s that Christian’s alive.”
Schmeichel’s response to the situation has been widely praised, as he was one of the first players to console Eriksen’s wife and build a human shield around him while medics and doctors performed resuscitative measures on the field.
When Leicester won the FA cup, the first thing he did before being asked to lift the cup was go and get Top aka Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha so he could share that moment with them all. Absolutely first class
— Lloyd Griffith (@LloydGriffith) June 12, 2021
The Denmark-Finland match, insanely, resumed later that day, with Finland pulling out a 1-0 victory. Denmark’s Euro 2020 campaign will resume on Thursday against Belgium, the #1 ranked team in the world.
In a statement to Gazzetta dello Sport, Eriksen expressed thanks to all who have been supportive of him: “Thank you, I won’t give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what’s happened. I want to say thank you all for what you did for me”.