Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch and “was gone” before he was resuscitated, Denmark’s team doctor, Morten Boesen, said Sunday.
Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland on Saturday. He’s now in stable condition after he was transported to a hospital in Copenhagen. The match was suspended and completed later Saturday night once Eriksen was conscious and wanted them to play on; Finland won, 1-0.
“He was gone,” Boesen said (Via The Guardian). “We started the resuscitation and we managed to do it. How close were we to losing him? I don’t know, but we got him back after one [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast.”
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand didn’t feel it was right to ask his players to carry on the match after Eriksen’s medical issue.
“I know it’s very difficult,” Hjulmand said. “But looking back it was the wrong thing to make the decision between the two scenarios to the players in this case.
“Players were in a shock condition. Players who didn’t really know yet if they had lost their best friend. And they have to decide between these two things. And I have a sense that we shouldn’t have played. I know it’s difficult. It’s just a feeling I have. Maybe we should have just gone on to the bus and gone home and let’s see what the next days would have brought.
“That’s just my feeling now, but I think it was a very, very tough decision that the players had to try to make a decision. I know it’s difficult, but I have a sense that it was wrong for the players to be given this situation.”
When Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, he received urgent medical care for about 10 minutes.
His teammates gathered around him, and they walked beside his stretcher when he was taken off the field.
The Danes spoke with Eriksen before resuming the match, and the primary concern for Eriksen at the time was for his teammates and family.
“Typically, Christian he was concerned about us and, of course, his family,’” Hjulmand said. “He said, ‘I don’t remember much,’ and ‘I’m more concerned about you guys, how are you doing?’ That’s typical Christian. That just shows that these big players and their generosity. He’s a hell of a player, but what a person he is as well.”