Denmark’s team doctor said Christian Eriksen went into cardiac arrest during a game at Euro 2020 on Saturday and that “he was gone” before lifesaving treatment on the field resuscitated him.
The doctor, Morten Boesen, led the work in giving Eriksen cardiopulmonary resuscitation after he collapsed during Denmark’s European Championship game against Finland.
“He was gone. And we did cardiac resuscitation. And it was cardiac arrest,” Boesen said in a videoconference with reporters. “How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast.”
It remained unclear what caused Eriksen to collapse just before halftime, and Boesen, noting he is not a cardiologist, declined to speculate in any way.
Eriksen remains in a Copenhagen hospital in stable condition, but Denmark’s coach, Kasper Hjulmand, said he had spoken to Eriksen on a video chat. It was, the coach said, “good to see him smile.”
“He said, ‘I don’t remember much but I’m more concerned about you guys; how are you doing?’” Hjulmand said. “That’s typical Christian.”
The decision to restart the game came under heavy criticism in Denmark, including from former members of the team. The former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, the father of the team’s current starter Kaspar Schmeichel, called it “ridiculous” to continue the match under the circumstances.
But Hjulmand said the team had agreed to play rather than accept an option that they considered even worse: to go home, and then return on Sunday and try to complete the game.
Hjulmand said his players are now determined to return to the field. Denmark is scheduled to face Belgium in Copenhagen on Thursday, and Eriksen, the coach said, “would like for us to play.”
He also said Denmark’s players would return to training on Monday.
“We are trying to get back to some normality tomorrow,” Hjulmand said. “That is completely in line with what the psychologists are saying, and the way I want to try to lead this group forward.”