Denmark captain led by example in Christian Eriksen's hour of need
One Danish newspaper headline read: "Denmark lost. But life won."
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel have been praised for their roles in coming to the aid of teammate Christian Eriksen yesterday.
Eriksen collapsed midway through Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland in Copenhagen, with Kjaer and Schmeichel swiftly rushing to his side.
The former Spurs man was in the process of receiving a throw-in from a teammate when he appeared to fall forwards.
It was immediately clear Eriksen was in serious danger, with referee Anthony Taylor promptly signalling for medical assistance.
Players from both sides looked anguished and distressed as they hurried medical staff onto the pitch.
The swiftness with which Kjaer, Schmeichel and Taylor acted may well have saved the Inter Milan midfielder's life.
Denmark captain Kjaer was the first player on the scene when Eriksen collapsed. He promptly acted to clear his airways, and rolled him into the recovery position.
Captain and hero: Simon Kjaer.
Before the medics got there he secured his neck, cleared the airways and started CPR. Could have saved #Eriksen’s life. Act of heroism.
Kjaer trying to keep also Cristian’s wife strong, is very emotional.
What a man. 💪
So proud of you 🙏♥️ pic.twitter.com/eOFOMksODe
— Angelo Mangiante (@angelomangiante) June 12, 2021
Kjaer also formed a guard around Eriksen as he lay on the pitch receiving medical treatment. This guard involved the Denmark squad linking arms to form a protective ring around their teammate.
Schmeichel, himself also a senior member of the squad, comforted teammates and Eriksen's partner, who by this point had made her way pitchside and appeared deeply distressed.
Eriksen was taken via stretcher to the Rigshospital in Copenhagen. As he made his way from the ground into a waiting ambulance, he had appeared to have regained consciousness.
The game was suspended, with referee Taylor leading both sets of players off the pitch. It wasn't clear when it was going to resume, as the live feed ended and cameras headed back to the BBC studio.
The game did resume some time later that evening, at 19:30 BST. Finland eventually won 1-0 through Joel Pohjanpalo's header. The Finnish striker drew an understandably muted celebration, however.
The Danish FA has since released an update on Eriksen's condition, confirming that he is stable, and that he remains in hospital for further examination.
Update regarding Christian Eriksen. pic.twitter.com/YuKD9hS9LV
— DBU - En Del Af Noget Større (@DBUfodbold) June 13, 2021
They have also confirmed that the team and staff have received crisis assistance after yesterday's game.