“Denmark is losing. But life has won. ”That was the headline of the Danish newspaper“ Ekstrabladet ”after the shock in Copenhagen. Denmark’s best player Christian Eriksen collapsed on Saturday during the European Championship game against Finland and then had to be “fetched back”, in other words, reanimated, by several doctors using cardiac treatment.
That’s how team doctor Morten Boesen described it afterwards at the press conference. That the 29-year-old from Inter Milan survived this collapse and was later taken to a hospital in a stable and responsive state: The relief was much greater than the Danish disappointment or the Finnish joy over the surprising 1-0 (0 : 0) victory of the EM debutant could ever have been.
“All thoughts are with Christian and his family,” said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand. “He’s one of the best players. And then I can say that he’s an even better person. “
Player visibly in shock
It is clear that his team will have to play against group favorites Belgium (6 p.m. / ZDF and Magenta TV) against the preliminary round at this tournament on Thursday. Even the game against Finland continued on Saturday evening after a 107-minute break, although some Danish players were visibly in shock after the dramatic experiences.
How quickly Eriksen will recover from his breakdown and the rest of the team from these images is unclear. The Danish association announced that evening that the players and Eriksen’s family would now be offered professional help in the form of psychological support. “It is a traumatic experience that they are exposed to,” said coach Hjulmand.
As an example, he cited Simon Kjaer, his experienced captain. The 32-year-old from AC Milan had comforted Eriksen’s friend Sabrina Kvist Jensen on the lawn of the Parken Stadium.
With tears in the eyes
It was also he who led his team back onto the field after the interruption. But already then the former Wolfsburg had tears in his eyes. “Simon was deeply affected and doubted whether he could go on. He tried, but it wasn’t possible, ”Hjulmand said later. His captain asked him to be substituted almost 20 minutes after the game resumed (62nd). Kjaer and Eriksen are close friends, “although they play for two rival clubs in Milan,” as their coach said.
The decision to continue the game on Saturday evening was made by both teams, according to unanimous statements. And not the European football association UEFA. But he had only shown Danes and Finns one alternative: That the game would continue on Sunday afternoon at 12 noon.
Finns shouted “Denmark, Denmark!”
After all, the players also experienced the power football can develop in such moments. In the stadium, Danish and Finnish fans had already created an atmosphere of empathy, compassion and solidarity during the interruption. When the game started again, the Finns shouted: “Denmark, Denmark!”
Football clubs and football players around the world took a large part in Eriksen’s condition. They sent prayers or recovery wishes via the social networks. Romelu Lukaku even had the opportunity to do more. Eriksen’s team-mate at Inter Milan had to play with the Belgian team against Russia a good two hours after its collapse (3-0). The striker scored two goals and dedicated his “Player of the Match” award to his Danish friend. “It was difficult for me to play today,” said Lukaku. “In my mind I was with Christian, I cried a lot, I was scared. And I hope he is healthy again. “