Christian Eriksen, the Danish soccer player who collapsed on the field during a Euro 2020 match on Saturday, suffered a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator, his team’s doctor said.
The 29-year-old midfielder is stable and “continues to be hospitalized for further examination,” the Danish Football Union said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday. It added that Eriksen “sent his greetings to his teammates.”
Eriksen was walking alone near the sideline around the 42nd minute of Denmark’s opening game against Finland when he appeared to stumble and fall forward suddenly. His teammates urged staff to rush to his aid.
The team then formed a ring around him to shelter him from view as medics performed CPR. Players from both teams and fans in the stadium were visibly distressed and in tears, while the stadium in the Danish capital Copenhagen fell silent.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being resuscitated, said Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen.
“We got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast,” Boesen said.
Denmark’s captain Simon Kjaer has been hailed a hero by many in the soccer community for his quick response. Kjaer attended to Eriksen before medics arrived and put him into the recovery position.
Kjaer then told his teammates to cover Eriksen from cameras as he was treated on the field for around 10 minutes before he was carried off on a stretcher.
Fans from both teams then shouted Eriksen’s name in support of the player.
As news came through that his condition had improved, the players decided to resume the game almost two hours later. Denmark lost to Finland 1-0, and Eriksen was named player of the match.
Denmark’s Manager Kasper Hjulmand praised his team during a press conference after the match.
“It was tough night,” Hjulmand said. “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 at such a time where one of my very, very dear friends is suffering.”
Eriksen’s current soccer club, Inter Milan and former soccer club Tottenham Hotspur tweeted messages of support, while his current and previous teammates have been dedicating their goals to the star.
The Associated Press contributed.