Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapses in Euro 2020 match
Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen is awake in hospital after collapsing during Saturday’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.
Late in the first half Denmark’s tournament opener at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, Eriksen was walking near the sideline when he fell face-forward into the turf.
Teammate Martin Braithwaite and referee Anthony Taylor immediately called for medical assistance as play was halted in the 43rd minute.
Players formed a shield around the 29-year-old as he was urgently treated by medics – several of the athletes were spotted in tears while others prayed.
Footage from the live broadcast showed Eriksen receiving chest compressions from a medic, leaving the Copenhagen crowd in stunned silence.
At one point, a stadium announcer asked the 16,000 fans spectators to remain in their seats and stay calm. Many fans were seen crying and hugging in the stands.
Eriksen’s partner Sabrina Kvist Jensen was brought down towards the pitch, where she was consoled by Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce said: “The pictures you are seeing here in the Parken Stadium in Denmark are terrible.”
Following 10 minutes of medical attention on the pitch, Eriksen was stretchered out of the venue to a loud ovation.
Moroccan international and Inter Milan teammate Achraf Hakimi tweeted: “Eriksen Please.”
Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba — who collapsed during an FA Cup match after suffering a heart attack in 2012 — posted to social media: “Please God.”
The Union of European Football Associations later confirmed Eriksen had been transferred to the hospital and was in a stable condition.
The Danish Football Association soon revealed the Inter Milan midfielder was awake and awaiting tests in hospital.
“The match has been suspended due to a medical emergency which involved Denmark’s Christian Eriksen,” UEFA tweeted on Sunday morning AEST.
“The player in now in hospital and in a stable condition. UEFA wishes Christian Eriksen a full and speedy recovery and wishes to thank both teams for their exemplary attitude.”
Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoots confirmed the 29-year-old was breathing and talking, while former Danish footballer Peter Moller revealed he had spoken to teammates.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin wished Eriksen a “full and speedy recovery”.
“Moments like this put everything in life into perspective,” Ceferin said in a statement.
“I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith.
“At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone.
“I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Denmark team doctor Martin Boesen revealed Eriksen’s pulse had stopped.
“We were called on the pitch when Christian fell down, I didn’t see myself but it was pretty clear he was unconscious,” Boesen said.
“When I get to him, he’s on his side. He is breathing and I can see pulse but suddenly that changes, and as everyone saw we started giving him CPR.
“The help came really, really fast from the medical team and the rest of the staff, and with their co-operation we did what we did to do. We managed to get Christian back.”
Danish and Finnish fans at Parken Stadium were later heard chanting “Christian Eriksen” from the stands.
A huge roar echoed around the venue when the stadium announcer revealed Eriksen was “stable and awake.”
The match resumed at 4:30am AEST, with Finland striker Joel Pohjanpalo scoring the opening goal in the 59th minute.
Pohjanpalo and his teammates did not celebrate the goal, and Finland ultimately clinched a 1-0 victory.
“Everyone agreed to play, and what we tried to do was incredible,” Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said after the loss.
“We have a group of players I can’t praise enough. I couldn’t be prouder of these people who take such good care of each other.
“They decide first of all not to do anything until we were sure that Christian was conscious, and that everything was OK.
“So we had two options, either finish the game tonight or play tomorrow at midday. Everyone agreed on playing today
“The fact that the players tried to play the second and dominate ... I’m very affected.
“All our thoughts and prayers are to Christian and his family right now. He’s one of the best players there is and he’s an even better person.”
Eriksen has made 109 appearances for Denmark since his international debut in 2010.
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