German doctor Jens Kleinefeld helped save the life of Christian Eriksen on Saturday and he has now revealed the player’s first words after he regained consciousness.
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer quickly attended to the playmaker to ensure his neck was secured and airways were not obstructed while performing CPR, as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel prevented others crowding around Eriksen so that emergency medics could attend to him.
The medics were rushed on to the field to perform emergency CPR on Eriksen, who was revived and then rushed to hospital in Copenhagen, where he was then brought into a ‘stable’ position.
It has since been clarified that Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and he will now be fitted with a heart-starting device, which will monitor and regulate heart rhythms.
Eriksen’s future in football remains unclear and he is likely to have his health monitored closely before any further decisions are made, but the widespread feeling remains that of relief following the distressing episode in Copenhagen.
Kleinefeld was one of the medics who immediately attended to Eriksen and he has now revealed the first conversation that took place as Eriksen returned to consciousness.
The German doctor told Fox Sports: “About 30 seconds later, the player opened his eyes and I could talk to him directly.
“That was a very moving moment, because in such medical emergencies in everyday life, the chances of success are much lower.”
Kleinefeld then continued that he asked Eriksen, “Well, are you back with us?” with the player then responded: ‘Yes, I am back with you. For f***s sake, I’m only 29 years old!
“That’s when I knew the brain wasn’t damaged and he had fully returned.”
Denmark had dominated the opening 40 minutes of the match but following the harrowing scenes of Eriksen’s collapse, two-hour break and subsequent return to play, they would go on to lose the game 1-0.
Joel Pohjanpalo’s header on the hour mark was enough to secure victory for Finland in their first ever match at a major finals, but the performance of the Danes had notably nosedived.
Captain Simon Kjaer – who had attended to Eriksen initially – was unable to continue after the half time break due to the incident, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s easily-saved penalty was comfortably saved.
Denmark play Belgium on Thursday afternoon and will conclude their group stage campaign with a match against Russia on Monday evening, with both of those fixture to be played in Copenhagen.
Eriksen had been regarded as the star of this current team having helped to steer Inter to their first Serie A title in 11 years, having previously enjoyed a distinguished stint at Tottenham.
The playmaker has been capped 109 times at international level for Denmark, scoring 36 goals.