Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed to the field late in the first half of his team’s game against Finland at Euro 2020 on Saturday in Copenhagen.
Eriksen was near the sideline, waiting to receive a throw-in, in the 42nd minute when he appeared to stumble and then fall forward. His teammates immediately sensed urgent trouble, rushing to him and waving frantically for trainers to come to his aid.
The players, some of them in tears and others praying, then formed a circle to shield Eriksen as the medical teams performed urgent care on the player as he lay on the grass. At one point, television images showed a trainer performing chest compressions on Eriksen.
UEFA, the tournament organizer, suspended the match and later tweeted that Eriksen had been taken to the hospital and “stabilized.”
The incident happened in the 43rd minute of a scoreless game. Play was suspended, and both teams left the field. It is unclear when, or if, the game will be resumed.
As they waited in the stadium for updates, fans of both teams appeared to unite in concern for Eriksen, at one point volleying chants back and forth. When the Finnish fans chanted “Christian,” their Danish counterparts answered with “Eriksen.”
Trainers and medical teams worked on Eriksen on the field for nearly 20 minutes before transferring him onto a stretcher and carrying him off the field. As he left, he appeared to be awake on the stretcher, resting his hand on his forehead.
Eriksen’s collapse and subsequent treatment left the crowd in Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium nearly silent, and Denmark’s players struggling to hide their emotions. Denmark’s captain, Simon Kjaer, stayed by his teammate’s side until help arrived. He and goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel then moved to midfield to comfort Eriksen’s partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, who had rushed to the side of the field.
Eriksen, a 29-year-old who plays for the Italian champion Inter Milan, has been a fixture for Denmark for more than a decade. He led the team to the World Cup in 2018, where it advanced to the round of 16.
But after a long career with Ajax in the Netherlands and Tottenham in England’s Premier League, he is a well-known and well-respected player. Clubs, federations and players immediately sent their best wishes.
Several of his current and former teammates play for Belgium, a tournament favorite that was scheduled to kick off an hour after the end of Denmark-Finland.