FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/AFP via Getty Images Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen is thanking his well wishers as he leaves the hospital following a scary in-game incident.
The 29-year-old Danish soccer player was discharged from the hospital on Friday, six days after he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during Saturday's Euro 2020 opening match against Finland.
Eriksen said the operation to fit a defibrillator implant "went well" and added that he was "doing well under the circumstances."
"It was really great to see the guys again after the fantastic game they played last night," he concluded, referring to Thursday's match between Denmark and Belgium, which ended in a 2-1 victory for Belgium. "No need to say, that I will be cheering on them on Monday against Russia."
At Thursday's game, the team and fans alike showed their support for Eriksen with signs, banners and a oversized jersey with the athlete's number 10 displayed on the field.
The Danish federation said Thursday that doctors have determined Eriksen needed to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
"This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances," the team said in a statement. "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."
After collapsing facedown on the pitch in the 43rd minute last week, Eriksen received urgent medical attention for about 10 minutes. Applause erupted as the midfielder's teammates accompanied the stretcher-bound player off the field before he was transported to a hospital in Copenhagen. It was reported later in the day that Eriksen was "awake" and in stable condition.
Following a crisis meeting with both teams and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) match officials, the game resumed later Saturday, resulting in a 1-0 victory for Finland.
"UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players," the organization said in a statement. "It was decided to restart the match only after the two teams requested to finish the game on the same evening."
Although the UEFA noted that "the players' need for 48 hours' rest between matches eliminated other options," many have scrutinized the decision to resume the game the same day. "The players were probably not given a real option in terms of taking a good decision that was in that moment in balance with where they were mentally," Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, general secretary of international players' union FIFPRO, told Reuters. "There's a lot of lessons that need to be drawn from this."
"It would have been better to cancel the game in that evening," Baer-Hoffmann added. "Take a bit of time, take a breath, look at it with a bit more distance, look at what are the options to carry on with the game or not, and if the game can't be replayed then I think also that would not be very important in comparison to what happened there to Christian."