Christian Eriksen of Denmark collapsed during the first half of Saturday’s 2020 UEFA European Championship opener against Finland. UEFA suspended the match toward the end of the first half due to a “medical emergency” and later announced that he was transported from the field and to the Rigshospitalet hospital in Copenhagen where he has been “stabilized” and deemed “awake” by the Danish federation.
Following a crisis meeting with both teams and UEFA match officials, and a phone call from the hospitalized Eriksen, the decision was taken to restart the match which finished with Finland taking all three points in a 1-0 victory.
With the score 0-0 between the Scandinavian pair heading toward halftime, the 29-year-old appeared to fall to the ground as a throw in was directed toward him.
Eriksen remained on the ground as medical staff tended to him with chest compressions and eventually performed CPR. The Inter Milan star’s international teammates and partner Sabrina Kvist Jensen were visibly distraught as he received treatment at a Parken Stadium shocked into silence. Players from Denmark had to form a protective ring around their teammate before he was carried away on a stretcher, shielded by medical staff holding up sheets and escorted by his Danish teammates. Jensen made it to the field and was met by captain Simon Kjaer, vice-captain Kasper Schmeichel, and other squad members.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta told Sky Italia after a direct contact with Denmark medical staff that there’s “cause for optimism,” according to CBS Sports insider Fabrizio Romano.
Speaking on Dutch radio, Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoots said, “Christian Eriksen breathes and can speak, he’s awake.”
Former players who have suffered cardiac arrests on the pitch also rallied around Eriksen. Fabrice Muamba was deemed “effectively dead” for 78 minutes in 2012 before being revived. David Ginola collapsed during a charity match and slipped into a coma. Both of them reacted quickly to the incident.
Eriksen, Denmark’s star midfielder is a 29-year-old playmaker who has played club soccer for Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan across his 11-year career. Sunday’s match marked the third Euros he had participated in for Denmark, after first bursting onto the scene as a teenager at the 2012 tournament. He also led Denmark to the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup. Saturday appearance was his 109th senior appearance for his country, during which time he has score 36 goals.
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