There were scary scenes at the Parken Stadium on Saturday afternoon in Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland as midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch with no one around him just minutes before half-time. It was clearly a severe situation as medical staff rushed on the pitch to assist the Danish playmaker, who was on the ground for quite a while before being carried off on a stretcher. Eriksen was rushed to the hospital but, thankfully, it was later reported that he was in a stable condition.
Astonishingly, the game resumed roughly two hours later and Finland would eventually go on to win 1-0 thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo's goal just after the interval. Despite Finland's win, there was plenty of concern around Christian Eriksen, with reports suggesting that the midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch. On Sunday, Morten Boesen, Denmark's national team doctor, spoke to the media and explained exactly how a defibrillator saved Eriksen's life.
Denmark’s team doctor Morten Boesen has confirmed Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest and that ”he was gone” before he was resuscitated.— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) June 13, 2021
Boesen says ”we got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast. ... How close were we? I don't know.” #EURO2020
While speaking to reporters on Sunday, Boesen confirmed that Eriksen had gone into cardiac arrest on the pitch and was brought back through a combination of CPR — the manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation that involves repeated pushing down on the chest — and an electric shock from a defibrillator. Boesen admitted that the quick reaction of the medical team in treating Eriksen was decisive for his survival and the evidence bears this out.
“He was gone,” Boesen said. “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 defib [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast. The time from when it happens until he receives help is the most important factor. And that was a short period of time. That was decisive."
The Denmark Football Federation has confirmed that Eriksen continues to be hospitalised as he will undergo further tests. However, Boesen added that Eriksen is now in a stable condition is 'awake' following his harrowing collapse on the field. "He is awake and breathing. His heart is beating again … the tests that have been done so far look fine. We don’t have an explanation as to why it happened,” he explained.
"Eriksen will probably not play professional football again - he died for a few minutes, the good news is he is alive but the bad news could end his career early." 😔— Tottenham Tiers (@TottenhamTiers) June 13, 2021
— Prof. Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Sports Cardiology speaks to SKY
Fans on social media have now been curious to know whether Eriksen will play again or not. According to leading sports cardiology professor, Sanjay Sharma, it's unlikely that Eriksen will return to playing football at a professional level. Eriksen currently plays his club football with Inter Milan and helped the Italian side to clinch their first Serie A title in 11 years.