Danish soccer star Christian Eriksen collapsed all of a sudden during the first half of the Euro 2020 match against Finland that was being played in Copenhagen. Eriksen, 29, was walking near the sideline, when it suddenly looked like he tripped and then fell forward to the pitch. For a split second other players continued the game until they realized what had happened and teammates frantically called for assistance. The game was stopped in the 43rd minute when the score was still 0-0.
Medical staff rushed to the pitch and the stadium fell silent as soon as it became clear the situation was serious. Medics appeared to try to resuscitate Eriksen with CPR and some reports say a defibrillator was used. His teammates looked visibly upset, with some shedding tears, as they formed a wall around their teammate to try to protect him from view.
After several minutes, Eriksen, who is a midfielder for Italian team Inter Milan, was taken off the field on a stretcher and he received a huge ovation from the crowd at the stadium. He was taken to the hospital, where he was “awake,” according to a tweet by the Danish soccer federation. The Union of European Football Associations said Eriksen “has been transferred to the hospital and has been stabilized.” Fans in the stands kept chanting Eriksen’s name after the players left the field.
The event immediately brought to mind what happened in 2012, when Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the middle of a game. He was said to be “effectively dead” for 78 minutes before he was revived. Although he recovered, he never resumed his professional career. “Please God,” he tweeted shortly after Eriksen’s collapse.