Less than two full weeks after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest and nearly lost his life on the pitch, Denmark earned a spot in the Round of 16 of the UEFA European Championship.
Denmark's emotional 4-1 trouncing of Russia combined with Belgium's 2-0 win over Finland confirmed the Danes will go through to the tournament's knockout stages. They will now face Wales on Saturday:
The Denmark players notched their victory and then had to refresh a mobile device to learn they'd received the necessary help from Belgium to finish second in Group B:
The moment the Denmark squad found out they're officially through to the Round of 16 ❤️— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 21, 2021
Group B winners: Belgium ✅— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 21, 2021
Group B runners-up: Denmark ✅#EURO2020
BREAKING: Czech Republic, England, France, Sweden & Switzerland all qualify for the #Euro2020 round of 16.— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 21, 2021
This is due to the results from tonight’s Group B action.
Listen → https://t.co/VJgUHnqdM1 pic.twitter.com/ITAzatgPfi
The previously mentioned Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during Denmark's tournament opener against Finland on June 12 and was resuscitated before he was transported to a local hospital, where he remained until this past Friday. That same day, the Danish Football Association announced the 29-year-old had undergone successful surgery to have a defibrillator implanted.
"Thank you for the massive number of greetings -- it has been incredible to see and feel," Eriksen said in a released statement. "The operation went well, and I am doing well under the circumstances. It was really great to see the guys again after the fantastic game they played last night. No need to say, that I will be cheering them on Monday against Russia."
Per The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Eriksen surprised his teammates by visiting them during Friday's training session. It's unclear if he will attempt to resume his career at this stage of his recovery.