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5TH UPDATE: Denmark star Christian Eriksen was discharged from a Copenhagen hospital Friday, six days after suffering cardiac arrest on the field during his team’s Euro 2020 opener and having surgery to install an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator to regulate his heartbeat.
Eriksen’s collapse and subsequent recovery have galvanized the soccer world, which has been rooting for the Inter Milan midfielder since his collapse June 12 as a global TV audience watched in horror. He needed to be resuscitated with a defibrillator on the field and has spent the week recovering and undergoing tests.
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The ICD keeps track of the heart rate and can deliver an electric shock if it detects an abnormal rhythm.
The Danish FC said Friday that Erikson even visited his teammates in Helsingør, where they are preparing for their final Group B game against Russia on Monday. They have lost both games so far in group play but can still finish second and advance if it beats the Russians and Belgium beats Finland.
On Thursday, Denmark played Belgium and lost 2-1 in an emotional game for the Danes. Both teams stopped the game 10 minutes in for one minute in tribute to Eriksen, who wears the No. 10 shirt for his country.
4TH UPDATE, June 17 AM: The doctor for Denmark’s national soccer team said Thursday that star midfielder Christian Eriksen will have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator implanted following his collapse during Saturday’s Denmark-Finland game at the Euro 2020 soccer tournament.
Eriksen’s heart stopped and “he was gone,” according to Denmark team doctors, before being resuscitated with a defibrillator on the field in Copenhagen in front of a shocked crowd and a global TV audience.
According to the American Medical Association, an ICD is a battery-powered device placed under the skin, with thin wires connecting to the heart. It keeps track of heart rate, and can deliver an electric shock to restore a normal hearbeat if it detects an abnormal rhythm. The AMA says ICDs have been “very useful” in preventing sudden death in patients with known, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.
Denmark plays its second Group B match Thursday against Belgium at the same Copenhagen stadium where Eriksen collapsed; he remains in a hospital nearby. The Belgian team, led by its star forward and Eriksen’s Inter Milan teammate Romelu Lukaku, said it will tribute Erikson by kicking the ball out of bounds in the 10th minute so the stadium can pay tribute with a minute of applause. Erikson wears No. 10 for Denmark.
“We will kick the ball out for a throw-in to stop and applaud and mark this moment,” Lukaku said during a press conference Wednesday.
In the U.S., today’s game will air live on ESPN with kickoff at 9 a.m. PT
3RD UPDATE: A day after Denmark star Christian Erikson was visited by some of his teammates after his horrifying cardiac arrest incident on the field at the European Championships, he tweeted out thanks with a photo of him smiling from his hospital bed.
It was a stunning turnaround after the events of Saturday, when the Denmark and Inter Milan player collapsed on the field just before halftime of Denmark’s tournament-opening game against Finland in Copenhagen. Doctors said Eriksen, 29, “was gone” before he could be resuscitated following emergency action, including being defibrillated, as a hometown crowd and a global audience looked on.
The game was postponed until later in the day, and fans of both nations remained in the stadium cheering Eriksen’s name until word arrived that he had been stabilized at a local hospital. Test are ongoing, but the midfielder had no previous conditions, according to team doctors at his Italian club.
“Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from around the world,” he wrote in a message tweeted out by Denmark’s soccer federation, along with a photo of a smiling Eriksen giving a thumbs-up. “It means a lot to me and my family.
“I’m fine — under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay. Now I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark,” he added.
Denmark resumes its Group B play in Euro 2020 on Thursday against Belgium, the world’s No. 1 team.
2ND UPDATE, July 14 AM: Denmark star midfielder Christian Eriksen remained in stable condition Monday in a Copenhagen hospital after collapsing during his team’s Euro 2020 game against Finland on Saturday, as a few of his teammates met with the media for the first time and a former Denmark star suggested the team had no choice but to continue the game after Eriksen’s collapse.
The latest comes after Denmark’s team doctor said Sunday that Eriksen’s heart stopped and that “he was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator on the field in front of a shocked crowd and a global TV audience just minutes before halftime. His teammates formed a human wall around the scene and were visibly emotional as medical personnel frantically worked on their teammate, after team captain Simon Kjaer had rushed to his side, clearing Eriksen’s airway and beginning CPR.
Erikson, 29, spoke with the team via video yesterday after the squad returned to the field later Saturday night with emotions swirling, eventually losing 1-0 in the group game. The team plays Belgium on Thursday and teammate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said Eriksen is urging them to play.
“It gives you the feeling that it’s OK to move forward,” Hojbjerg said after the team’s training session today, per the Associated Press. “We really want to play on Thursday, to play for Christian and to play for everyone who has supported us.”
Eriksen’s team doctors at his club team Inter Milan said today the star player had cleans bills of health during his time at the Italian club, as well as at his previous team Tottenham Hotspur in England. He also revealed that Eriksen had not yet gotten vaccinated from Covid-19. Tests are now ongoing at the cause of the incident.
There have been questions whether tournament organizer UEFA was correct in allowing Saturday’s Denmark-Finland game to resume. One critical of the decision was former Denmark goalkeeper great Peter Schmeichel, whose son Kasper is now Denmark’s keeper.
“I actually saw an official quote from UEFA yesterday saying that they were following the advice of the player, the players insisted on playing. I know that not to be the truth,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “Or, it’s how you see the truth.
“[The Denmark team] were left with three options, one was to play immediately and get the last 50 minutes played. The next one was to come in [Sunday] at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes, and the third option was to forfeit the game 3-0,” he said. “So work it out for yourself. Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice really? I don’t think they had.”
UPDATE, June 13 AM: The collapse of star soccer player Christian Eriksen on the field Saturday was worse than first believed.
Denmark’s team doctor said Sunday that the player’s heart stopped and that “he was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator at the European Championship.
“He was gone. And we did cardiac resuscitation. And it was cardiac arrest,” said team doctor Morten Boesen. “How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast.”
Eriksen is in stable condition at a Copenhagen hospital and spoke to teammates via video link on Sunday, team officials said.
Boesen also said the 29-year-old Eriksen may not have survived had the game not been played at a major soccer tournament with top-class medical equipment at hand.
PREVIOUSLY: A massive global television audience watched in horror today as Christian Eriksen, Denmark’s best player, collapsed on the field just before halftime of his game against Finland.
Eriksen collapsed as he went to take a throw-in, according to reports. He was walking towards the sideline and when the ball was thrown in his direction, it hit him and he fell to the ground.
Teammates rushed to assist him and frantically called for a medical team. The medics were administering CPR on the field, with the worst possible outcome looking likely at one point. Teammates surrounded him on the field and the crowd in his home stadium in Copenhagen went silent for the 10 minutes he lay prone. ESPN was broadcasting the game to a worldwide audience.
Eriksen was taken to the hospital and stabilized.
A Twitter report from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) said a crisis meeting has taken place with both teams and match officials. The match was suspended with the score 0-0.
Update: A Twitter post has indicated the game will go on later today.
“Following the request made by players of both teams, UEFA has agreed to restart the match between Denmark and Finland tonight at 20:30 CET (TBC). The last four minutes of the first half will be played, there will then be a 5-minute half-time break followed by the second half.”
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