Thomas Delaney: Christian Eriksen incident has made Denmark stronger

Midfielder: ‘It’s a terrible situation, but thankfully it’s a nice place to be right now’

Thomas Delaney and  Yussuf Poulsen arrive at training as Denmark prepare for Thursday’s clash with Belgium. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty/AFP

Thomas Delaney and Yussuf Poulsen arrive at training as Denmark prepare for Thursday’s clash with Belgium. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty/AFP

 

Thomas Delaney has revealed the Denmark squad has been strengthened in the wake of team-mate Christian Eriksen’s collapse during their opening Euro 2020 match.

The 29-year-old Internazionale midfielder had to be resuscitated on the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen after slumping to the ground during the first half of his side’s 1-0 Group B defeat by Finland on Saturday evening.

Eriksen regained consciousness before being taken to hospital, where medics continue to work to identify what caused his cardiac arrest, while his team-mates prepare for Thursday’s fixture against Belgium at the same venue, still processing what happened at the weekend.

Midfielder Delaney told a press conference: “I’ve experienced a lot in this squad for the past few days. Everyone had the opportunity to be honest about their feelings and it’s been a good thing.

“It’s nice that we all know each other and everyone can just be themselves.

“It’s a terrible situation, but thankfully it’s a nice place to be right now.”

Skipper Simon Kjaer was quick to realise Eriksen was in trouble and to summon medical help, and he and the remaining members of the team formed a protective shield around the stricken former Tottenham star as he was treated on the pitch.

Many were visibly moved, while others prayed with team doctor Morten Boesen, who later revealed he “was gone”.

Delaney said: “Some things need to be done very, very fast and Simon Kjaer arrived very fast and called for help.

“Unfortunately, I’ve done this before. We decided to make this shield to protect him. It was not only to protect Christian and the medical staff, but also Christian’s friends and family.

“It was not a fun situation to be in, but it was a way we could help Christian.”

The football world was stunned as events unfolded in front of millions on television, and Eriksen thanked those who had sent messages of support in an Instagram post on Tuesday in which he said he was “fine — under the circumstances”.

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