Christen Eriksen opens up on cardiac arrest and hopes it will spurn change as he makes return to football
Danish star Christian Eriksen almost lost his life this summer after collapsing on the pitch due to cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro2020 group stage opener against Finland.
If not for the quick-reaction timing of his countrymen as well as team doctors and medical staff, the 29-year-old may not be alive today. But thankfully, Eriksen has made a full recovery and is now set for a shock return to the top level of football in Europe with Premier League neutral favorite Brentford.
Eriksen sat down with BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan in an exclusive interview to shed light on the events surrounding that near-tragic summer’s day, but also what good he hopes would come from the event and what positive lessons can be learned and applied as football must continue to effectively tackle the growing issue of cardiac arrests suffered by players across the globe.
Christian Eriksen tells me he hopes his story could help the campaigns for more defibrillators: “It is a good thing from a bad thing..it is turning into a positive that can hopefully save a lot of people in the same situation as me.” https://t.co/NGrbtWWCoe pic.twitter.com/Dvkk9I8jXH
— Dan Roan (@danroan) February 11, 2022
The Danish footballing icon stated “It is a good thing from a bad thing. It is turning into a positive that can hopefully save a lot of people in the same situation as me.”
Eriksen has been building up his fitness under Thomas Frank since making his return to the Premier League and is now one of seven Danes on the books at the Brentford Community Stadium, and that aspect as well as a return to a city he and his family “know very well” can provide a platform for him to ease his way back into a career that could well have ended not long ago.
Eriksen is one of the lucky ones | A history of cardiac arrest in football
The distressing images that unfolded in Copenhagen this past summer will never be forgotten by those who were at the Parken Stadium in the Danish capital and the millions around the world watching on their TV or streaming devices. But the unfortunate reality remains that too many footballers have died on the pitch as a result of cardiac arrest in recent years.
If you are old enough, you can remember Manchester City’s Marc Vivien Foe collapsing while playing for Cameroon at the Confederations Cup, passing away shortly afterward due to an undiagnosed heart condition. The same can be said for SL Benfica and Hungary striker Miklós Fehér who passed away after suffering cardiac arrest during a match against Vitória de Guimarães.
And there are others…so many others. Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta, Marsonia’s Bruno Boban, Espanyol’s Daniel Jarque, and Fiorentina’s Davide Astori are just a small handful of players who suffered heart-related attacks on the pitch, on the training ground, or in their home and did not survive.
Christian Eriksen and Fabrice Muamba are some of the lucky ones that have lived to use their voice in hopes that increased awareness can result in federations doing what it takes to ensure that heart health and the ability to respond to heart-related emergencies do not go unanswered.