It’s been over 18 months since Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch at Euro 2020 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The Danish midfielder received life-saving treatment in the country’s game against Finland in June 2021, he was eventually revived and taken to hospital.
Players on the pitch, inside the stadium and fans around the world held their breath as Eriksen’s teammates joined arms to hide their fight to survive.
There are scenes that bear resemblance to Monday night when Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.
Like Eriksen, Hamlin also suffered a cardiac arrest. According to reports, his pulse was restored on the field and the 24-year-old remains in “critical condition” at a Cincinnati hospital.
The Buffalo Bills got team coach Hamlin within 10 seconds of his crash, similar to the team coaches who saved Eriksen’s life.
“What then? He’s gone,” said team doctor Morten Boesen at the time for Denmark.
“And we did cardiac resuscitation and it was cardiac arrest. How close were we? I do not know.”
Eriksen was later fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device, a type of pacemaker aimed at preventing lethal cardiac arrests by sending salbers to restore a regular heart rhythm, and made an incredible return to the smile he loved.
Denmark’s Euro 2020 match against Finland was postponed later that evening after a request was made by the players of both teams to finish the match.
Eriksen was conscious when he left the pitch, even while lying in bed in a puzzle, and a statement from the Danish federation was soon confirmed as he was kept awake in hospital and awaiting further examination.
As against Hamlin. A representative for Hamlin’s family said the NFL player was revived at one point after collapsing on the football field Monday night, friend and marketing representative Jordon Rooney told CNN Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Hamlin’s uncle had told CNN and ESPN that the Buffalo Bill had been revived twice — once on campus and again at the hospital — but Rooney said the uncles misspoke.
“My uncle was incredibly supportive of his nephew … I think you, you know, just want to be a part of it to share some good news and I think it’s like a misspoke,” Rooney said.
Despite the decision to replay the match received by the players, Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand admitted the next day that he thought it was “a bad decision.”
“It’s a huge loss for the players,” he told reporters. “They might not even know if they’re probably going to lose their best friend.
“I feel that I should not judge the players who have played and are wrong. I’m really proud of the way the world has led to this event.
“Often it’s about money, but yesterday we saw what football is all about – compassion and love.
Just 259 days after his collapse, Eriksen made his competitive return to the English Premier League after signing for Brentford.
Serie A club Inter Milan – with whom Eriksen was under contract at the time of the incident – moved the midfielder to be unable to play in Italy unless the ICD system was removed.
Eriksen came on 52 minutes into Brentford’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle United in February 2022 and received a hero’s welcome.
“If you take away the event, I am one happy person. To go through what I’ve been through, it’s a wonderful feeling to come back,” said Eriksen afterwards.
After a short but successful spell at Brentford, Eriksen made the move to Manchester United in July 2022 where he continues to be a pivotal part of the team.
He made 15 league appearances so far this season, scoring once.
Then, in November 2022, Eriksen fulfilled his dream for Denmark in his third World Cup.
The 30-year-old played five minutes in three Qatar 2022 games for Denmark, before his nation went out in the group stage.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Eriksen said the incident at Euro 2020 had changed his outlook on both football and life.
“I think it gave me… let’s say an appreciation for living and being with my family. And I think everything else has been moved to the side,” he told reporters.
“Having the ability to go back and be who I was before was really the goal. My first goal was always to be a boyfriend and a father.
“It’s also very special to be at the World Cup. The national team is something, I’m just very happy to be a part of it again.”