Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen never had heart problems when he played for Tottenham Hotspur. The annual tests at the Premier League club were “completely normal,” says his then British cardiologist. Still, the doctor doubts whether Eriksen will be able to play football at the highest level again. But the Dane himself has his teammates let you know that he is doing well and that he rushes hopes to return.
The 29-year-old footballer collapsed in the 42nd minute of the game as he ran down the left sideline after a throw-in from Denmark. He was resuscitated and taken to hospital. His condition is stable and he is said to be approachable.
Dr. Sanjay Sharma of St. George’s University in London said Eriksen has been there since 2013 never deviating test results have been established. Though doubts briefly struck when he saw the images of the Internazionale playmaker falling down. “I thought, ‘Oh my god? Is there anything we haven’t seen?’ But I checked all the test results and everything looked perfect,” Sharma told British news agency PA Media.
‘Eriksen feels good and is positive’
Martin Schoots, Christian Eriksen’s agent, has been in contact with the midfielder. ,,He feels good and was in a positive mood. There are still various studies done to provide clarity.
“From the day the club signed him, it was my job to screen him and we tested him every year. His tests up to 2019 were completely normal, with no apparent underlying heart defect. I can vouch for that because I did the tests myself.”
According to Sharma, there can be multiple causes, such as high temperatures or a previously undiscovered condition. He calls the fact that Eriksen regained consciousness in the hospital ‘a very good sign’. Despite the positive news, the cardiologist is gloomy about the future of the Danish footballer.
“They managed to get him back,” Sharma said. “The question is what happened and why it happened. This man had normal tests until 2019, so how do you explain this cardiac arrest? The fact that he is stable and awake makes the outlook very good. But I don’t know if he will ever play football again.”
The incident with Eriksen is reminiscent of Ajax footballer Abdelhak Nouri, who suddenly collapsed during a practice match in Austria in the summer of 2017 after a cardiac arrest. The young talented player was on the field for minutes and was resuscitated much too late. As a result, he suffered permanent brain damage and he can never play football again.
Sharma also chairs a group of heart experts within the English Football Association FA. In the UK, the rules are strict in this type of situation. ,,It may sound blunt: but Eriksen died for a few minutes. Are medical professionals going to risk letting him die again? The answer is no,” says Sharma firmly.
End of career
He wonders whether Eriksen should take that risk. The good news is that he will live. The bad news is that he has probably come to the end of his career. He would no longer be allowed to play in the UK. We are very strict about that.”
Eriksen himself reported again optimistic in his current club’s group app, the Italian national champion Internazionale. “He is doing much better,” said club boss Giuseppe Marotta in front of the Sky Sports. “He has reassured the team and said he will return soon.”
The Danish football association DBU also tweeted this morning the positive news that he was approachable and that he greeted his teammates. “His condition is stable and he remains in hospital for further examination.”