The entire football community prayed for Christian Eriksen’s recovery after the Denmark international collapsed to the floor against Finland at Euro 2020 on Saturday.
Football fans feared the worst after the harrowing footage of Eriksen receiving CPR was broadcast across the world.
Denmark’s players shielded their teammate as medics battled, and succeeded, to save his life.
Eriksen left the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen conscious and was swiftly transported to hospital where he has been in a stable condition since.
Denmark’s team doctor, Morten Boesen, has confirmed that Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being resuscitated.
Eriksen 'was gone' before being resuscitated
“He was gone,” Boesen said, per The Guardian. “We started the resuscitation and we managed to do it. How close were we to losing him? I don’t know, but we got him back after one defib [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast.”
Director of Danish football association DBU Peter Moller, meanwhile, told reporters that the players had been in contract with Eriksen via FaceTime on Sunday.
Eriksen did not remember much about his collapse
Denmark’s coach Kasper Hjulmand said Eriksen told him he did not remember much from Saturday’s collapse but said he was eager to get back on the pitch.
"He would like for us to play on," Hjulmand was quoted as saying by Reuters. "He said he feels like he could go out and play again. Christian feels best when he's got a football close to his feet."
Eriksen's FaceTime conversation with Denmark players
The Denmark boss also quoted Eriksen as saying: "I think you are feeling worse than I am.
"I feel as if I'm about to go training now, boys."
Danish outlet B.T. add that Eriksen's first question was: "How are you?"
Hjulmand said it was typical that the midfielder would think of others first rather than himself.
Hjulmand added: "Christian is in good spirits and it's a huge relief for the players after all this uncertainty. There is no doubt that we have been on the ropes."
The controversial decision was taken for the match to resume after the news of Eriksen’s improved condition emerged, although Hjulmand feels that may have been wrong in hindsight.
"Looking back, I honestly don't think that we should have been back on the pitch," he said. "I have thought about whether I could have done things differently."
Denmark lost the match 1-0 when Joel Pohjanpalo netted the only goal of the game on the hour-mark.
Will Eriksen continue playing football?
Eriksen, who joined Inter Milan from Tottenham in 2020, will now continue his long road to recovery.
While it’s unclear at this stage whether the 29-year-old will be permitted to resume his football career, such matters pale into insignificance when you consider what could have happened had the match officials, players and medical staff not been so quick to react on Saturday.
Get well soon, Christian Eriksen (Football Terrace)