Christian Eriksen: Football world unites in support of collapsed Denmark midfielder

Inter Milan star in stable condition in hospital after CPR as messages flood in

Football united to send support to Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, who was in a stable condition on Saturday night after collapsing and needing CPR during the Euro 2020 match with Finland.

The 16,000 fans inside the Parken Stadium fell silent before half time when the star fell to the ground when running to collect a throw-in.

The English referee Anthony Taylor immediately called medics on to the pitch and Eriksen underwent lengthy treatment with CPR performed on his chest before he was taken to hospital.

It was later confirmed the Inter Milan player was stable. Eriksen is also understood to have spoken to his teammates from his hospital bed to reassure them of his condition, which allowed his teammates to resume their match in Copenhagen after a delay of two hours, with Finland claiming a 1-0 win.

"Christian Eriksen is awake and his condition remains stable. He remains hospitalised at Rigshospitalet for further examinations," a statement from the Danish Football Association read.

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand attempted to hold back tears during his post-match press conference and explained they had the choice of finishing the Group B match against Finland on the night or return on Sunday.

"It was more unmanageable to have to restart tomorrow," he said. "It was more unmanageable than going back out now and getting it all put behind us. I could not be more proud of this team, who take good care of each other.

"There are players in there who are completely finished emotionally. Players who on another day could not play this match. They are supporting each other. It was a traumatic experience."

After Eriksen collapsed, his teammates formed a ring around the former Tottenham Hotspur star while he received treatment. Fans from both sets of countries chanted the name of the midfielder.

He was taken off the Parken Stadium pitch on a stretcher and was seen to be awake.

Hjulmand added: "All thoughts are with Christian and his family. Christian is one of the best footballers, but he is an even better person."

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said: "Moments like this put everything in life into perspective. 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."

Leading sports cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma has questioned whether the Serie A winner will play again.

"The fact he's stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good," he said.

"I don't know whether he'll ever play football again. Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again? The answer is no."

BBC football presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker later said: "In 25 years of doing this job, that was the most difficult, distressing and emotional broadcast I've ever been involved with."

England, who get their Euro 2020 campaign under way on Sunday against Croatia, were due to hold a news conference on Saturday evening with captain Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate.

But the Football Association confirmed the briefing had been cancelled with Kane, who spent eight seasons with Eriksen at Tottenham, writing on Twitter: "Chris. I'm sending all my love to you and your family. Stay strong mate."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent a message of support for Eriksen. They posted on the social media platform: "Encouraging news about Christian Eriksen, we are all thinking about him and his family.

"Well done to the medical team and Anthony Taylor for their calm and swift action. W."

Numerous messages were sent to the midfielder while club colleague Romelu Lukaku dedicated his first goal in Belgium's 3-0 win over Russia to Eriksen by saying into the pitchside cameras: "Chris, I love you."

He later told beIN Sports: "It was difficult to play because my mind was with my teammate. I hope he is healthy and I dedicate this performance to him.

"I cried a lot because I was scared, obviously. You live strong moments together. I spent more time with him than with my family. My thoughts are with him, his girlfriend, his two kids and his family."

Finland captain Tim Sparv also sent his well-wishes on Twitter, he said: "What an emotional roller-coaster this day has been. Our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his loved ones during these difficult times.

"Football is so insignificant when something like this happens. Life is precious. Take care of each other."

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS