Euro 2020: Braithwaite reveals Eriksen hailed Denmark’s display against Belgium as ‘fantastic’


Martin Braithwaite has revealed Christian Eriksen hailed Denmark’s performance in their defeat by Belgium as ‘fantastic’, before insisting they were forced to play on after the midfielder’s horrific cardiac arrest last week.

The Inter Milan and former Tottenham midfielder collapsed during the first half of the group game with Finland in Copenhagen on June 12 and required 13 minutes of CPR before he was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains.  

Eriksen, who will now have a heart-starter fitted after his cardiac attack was caused by ‘rhythm disturbances’, watched on from hospital on Thursday night as Denmark were beaten by Belgium.    

Martin Braithwaite revealed Christian Eriksen messaged to say Denmark's performance in their Euro 2020 defeat by Belgium was 'fantastic'

Martin Braithwaite revealed Christian Eriksen messaged to say Denmark’s performance in their Euro 2020 defeat by Belgium was ‘fantastic’

Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram this week from hospital after his cardiac arrest

Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram this week from hospital after his cardiac arrest

Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram this week from hospital after his cardiac arrest

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench to fire Belgium into the last-16. He set up Thorgan Hazard’s 55th-minute equaliser and then clinched a 2-1 Group B win with a stunning finish 20 minutes from time.

Five days after Eriksen collapsed on the same Parken Stadium pitch, Yussuf Poulsen fired the Danes into an early lead as FIFA’s number one-ranked team were outplayed until De Bruyne changed the game.

There was an emotional applause from players, officials and spectators as the game stopped temporarily as the clock reached the 10th minute, the number Eriksen wears on his shirt. 

However striker Braithwaite revealed afterwards that Denmark’s performance had received glowing praise from their stricken team-mate.

‘Eriksen wrote in the Whatsapp group after the game, he said we had been fantastic, I read the text on my way to the dressing room,’ Braithwaite said in his post-match press conference.

‘We had a great start, we proved to be mentally strong. We played for Christian and the whole country.

‘We felt the whole stadium around us, it was amazing.’

On an emotional evening, Denmark took an early lead thanks to Yussuf Poulsen's fine finish

On an emotional evening, Denmark took an early lead thanks to Yussuf Poulsen's fine finish

On an emotional evening, Denmark took an early lead thanks to Yussuf Poulsen’s fine finish

But Belgium roared back in the second half with Kevin De Bruyne helping them to a 2-1 win

But Belgium roared back in the second half with Kevin De Bruyne helping them to a 2-1 win

But Belgium roared back in the second half with Kevin De Bruyne helping them to a 2-1 win

But Braithwaite also insisted that Denmark were ‘forced to play’ the rest of last week’s game against Finland less than two hours after the horrific scenes involving Eriksen. 

There has been widespread criticism at UEFA of lacking compassion amid claims the Denmark players were ‘pressured’ to play on 

The game was suspended for around 90 minutes before Denmark were given the choice to resume or play the following day. They returned to the pitch but lost 1-0. 

Braithwaite concedes that they should have beaten Finland last week but believes they still have enough to to progress to the knockout stages.

He added: ‘We would have won the first game, I am sure about that.

‘But we were forced to play after what had happened.

‘It’s incredible we still have zero points, but I have the feeling we will qualify.’

Braithwaite insists Denmark were 'forced' to play on after Eriksen's cardiac arrest last week

Braithwaite insists Denmark were 'forced' to play on after Eriksen's cardiac arrest last week

Braithwaite insists Denmark were ‘forced’ to play on after Eriksen’s cardiac arrest last week

What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator?

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.

It sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, specifically those that can be dangerous and cause a cardiac arrest. 

If an ICD notices a dangerous heart rhythm it can deliver one or more of the following treatments: 

Pacing – a series of low-voltage electrical impulses (paced beats) at a fast rate to try and correct the heart rhythm.

Cardioversion – one or more small electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.

Defibrillation – one or more larger electric shocks to try and restore the heart to a normal rhythm.

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand also insisted his team are not done with Euro 2020 and has vowed to make it to the last 16 for Eriksen.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: ‘As I told the players in the dressing room, the only thing I’m disappointed by is the result. I didn’t expect too much for this game, but I can’t describe the pride I feel for this squad.

‘What they showed, the quality… Four days after almost losing one of their best friends, they get on and the play a game like this, this is just amazing. They totally dominated the best team in the world, and I have so much respect.

‘With Christian in our minds and in our hearts, knowing that he’s still here, we know that it’s going to be a tough few weeks for you, Christian, but we’re here for you.

‘We’re going to stick together and we’re going to beat the Russians. We’re not done in this competition.’

Danish national team doctor Morten Boesen announced on Thursday morning that Eriksen will be given an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to regulate his heart’s rhythm.

A statement read: ‘After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD. 

‘This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.

‘Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time’.  

Eriksen will have a heart-starter fitted after his collapse was caused by 'rhythm disturbances'

Eriksen will have a heart-starter fitted after his collapse was caused by 'rhythm disturbances'

Eriksen will have a heart-starter fitted after his collapse was caused by ‘rhythm disturbances’

Eriksen posted the first picture of himself in hospital since suffering a cardiac arrest on Tuesday.

In the caption, the 29-year old said: ‘Hello everyone. Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.

‘I’m fine – under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay.

‘Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark. Best, Christian’. 



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