‘We all feared we might be watching him die’: Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen recounts Christian Eriksen’s horrifying cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 and insists ‘if it happened in his living room, he wouldn’t be here’
- Christian Eriksen stunned the football world after his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020
- The Danish midfielder survived despite collapsing to the floor against Finland
- Team-mates formed a ring around him before he was stretchered off
- Denmark star Yussuf Poulsen said the squad feared they might watch him die
- He said Eriksen was lucky the incident happened at a match and not at home
Denmark star Yussuf Poulsen has recalled the horrific memory of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, admitting his team-mates feared they would watch him die as they formed a circle around the stricken player.
Eriksen collapsed to the turf during Denmark’s opening group game against Finland in terrifying scenes, with fans in tears in the crowd as the squad huddled around him to give him protection and privacy in a life-and-death moment.
The former Inter Milan and Tottenham star was rescuscitated after just one defibrilation with medics having rushed to his side to save his life.
Yussuf Poulsen (far left) has recalled the horrifying ordeal of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest
He said Denmark players feared they might watch their friend and team-mate die
The incident stunned football – and indeed the wider world in general – with the debacle kicking off a debate around exhausted footballers being pushed too hard, with later example of athletes suffering cardiac arrest or breathing issues.
Poulsen was right in the heart of the situation and recalls how the Denmark squad prayed Eriksen would recover, but ultimately feared the worst.
‘When we stood around him at that time, we all feared that we might be watching him die,’ he told Sky Sport in Germany. ‘I still remember how each of us whispered or thought: Please [make] it!’
Eriksen eventually recovered and taken to hospital after the incident shocked the world
The playmaker received life-saving treatment before being fitted with a heart defibrillator
Poulsen believes it was a blessing for Eriksen that he suffered his cardiac arrest on a football pitch – in the presence of countless medical professionals and equipment – rather than at home, and believes he might not have been so lucky had he collapsed elsewhere.
‘Thank God he [made] it, so we can all talk about it more or less normally, because it’s basically a good story. Good because most people would have died in Christian’s situation,’ he added.
‘He was lucky that it happened during the game and everything was nearby to bring him back immediately. If it had happened to him in the living room, he would not be there now.’
Poulsen believes Eriksen was lucky to have suffered his collapse on the pitch and not at home
Eriksen spent weeks in hospital before being discharged, with doctors inserting a ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) – a heart starting device. He has since been recovering but was forced to leave Inter Milan this month due to rules in Italy forbidding players to compete with such a device fitted into their heart.
The playmaker still harbours dreams of playing football again despite his scare, with his agent Martin Schoots telling Sportsmail the player is feeling well physically.
‘Things look good. And he is feeling good. All physical results are positive. Christian has his dreams.
Eriksen still dreams of resuming his football career after leaving Inter, his agent has revealed
‘Christian is doing really well. He has been training himself for months and things are going very well.
‘It was clear that we would work towards this solution for a long time. Italy is simply the only country where as a rule you can’t play with an ICD.
‘So its a pity especially since Chris is so immensely loved by the fans. But on the other hand it’s also positive because Chris now can look at the future with another perspective.’