The pictures that were sent from the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on Saturday evening will be remembered forever by everyone who has seen them.
It was supposed to be a football festival, an approximation of the familiar normality that existed before the corona pandemic.
Instead, everyone, in the stadium and in front of the screens, experienced a shocking time during the game between Denmark and Finland at the European Championship: the Danish star and midfielder Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed just before half-time and remained motionless on the grass.
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His teammates were the first to grasp the gravity of the situation. They hastily waved doctors over to help the 29-year-old Inter Milan player. The television images showed how medical helpers initiated life-saving measures with cardiac muscle massage. The shocked Danish players formed up around Eriksen so as not to allow a view of the terrible scenery. Some looked behind them, others didn't want to look. Some had tears in their eyes when it became clear that this was all about the survival of their teammate.
The audience first tried chants, but when they realized the seriousness of the situation, they fell silent after a short time.
Even among them, the shock was great about the tragic incident on the second day of the EM.
The game was initially interrupted due to a "medical incident", as the European Football Union (Uefa) announced.
After the treatment, Eriksen was taken off the lawn on a stretcher, screened off by a screen and accompanied by his teammates.
The fans were initially asked to remain in their seats "until there is more information".
“We had contact.
I'm fine. "
Less than an hour after the shocking incident, the Danish Football Association announced that Erikson was conscious. "Christian Eriksen is awake and is in the Reich Hospital for further examinations," said the Dansk Boldspil Union. “We had contact with Christian and the players spoke to him. He is doing well, ”said DBU director Peter Møller, the broadcaster DR. There was applause in the stadium when the audience was informed of the news. According to the player's agent, Eriksen was able to breathe and speak in the evening, as the father told him.
At the request of both teams, the game continued after a break of more than 90 minutes when the score was 0-0. Before the restart, the Danish players and coaches lined up in a circle and spoke to coach Kasper Hjulmand to the applause of the fans. Mathias Jensen had the difficult task of replacing Eriksen. “Moments like these put everything in life into perspective. I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray that his family has strength and faith, ”Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin was quoted on Twitter.
The third European Championship game on Saturday was supposed to be a festival in Copenhagen. Around 17,000 fans were admitted despite the corona pandemic. When the weather was good, the Danes and Finns celebrated a good-humored party in the stadium. Denmark was better, but the Finns kept the 0-0 - until Eriksen suddenly lay motionless on the ground. From that moment on, football was out of the question. He was only concerned with the player's well-being for everyone in the stadium and in front of the TV sets. After the good news from the clinic, the game continued emotionally on the pitch and in the stands.
Initially, the few minutes of the first half were played on. After a five-minute break, the teams spent on the lawn with referee Anthony Taylor, things went on. The Danes tried everything, but the goal came as a surprise to an outsider Finland when it premiered at a major football tournament. Joel Pohjanpalo, who last played in the Bundesliga for Union Berlin, scored with his head in the 59th minute. The Dane Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg missed the greatest chance to equalize when he failed with a penalty to goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky (74th).
The Eriksen incident brought back bad memories of other tragic events in football. In the semifinals of the Confederations Cup 2003 in Lyon, the Cameroonian Marc-Vivien Foé suddenly collapsed in the game against Colombia and remained motionless at the center line. Shortly afterwards Foé died. The cause of death was heart failure. The captain of Fiorentina died of a sudden cardiac arrest. Davide Astori, 31 years old, was found dead in his hotel room bed before a game. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas collapsed at FC Porto with a heart attack during training.
Eriksen has been with Inter Milan for a year and a half. The midfielder is considered one of the best Danish footballers. At the age of 17 he moved to Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands. After his time there, he went to England to Tottenham Hotspur and developed into a star of European football. After his game shares were less, he went to Italy. Eriksen had only become champions with Inter Milan a few weeks ago. But none of that counts anymore at the moment. After his 109th international match, the only thing that matters is his recovery.