Rio Ferdinand admits he ‘got a bit emotional’ after watching Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch cardiac arrest… but insists ‘it’s just great’ Denmark midfielder has made first public statement since Euro 2020 clash
Rio Ferdinand admits emotions took over after watching Christian Eriksen collapse on the field in Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland.
The Inter Milan midfielder required 13 minutes of CPR after suffering a cardiac arrest just before half-time on Saturday in Copenhagen, but was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains.
The 29-year-old has since released a public statement, insisting he ‘feels better’ and ‘won’t give up’, as well as thanking fans for their support and concern.
Rio Ferdinand (right) admits emotions took over after watching Christian Eriksen (left) collapse
The Inter Milan midfielder required 13 minutes of CPR after suffering a cardiac arrest
A leading NHS cardiologist exclusively told Sportsmail that Eriksen is unlikely to play for his club or country again, and Ferdinand – part of the BBC’s coverage of the Euros – echoed those fears but admitted that will not be the Dane’s primary concern.
Asked if he thinks Eriksen will ever play again, Ferdinand said on his Vibe With Five YouTube show: ‘I don’t think he plays again, I’ve got to be honest.
‘If I’m him I’m not thinking about that probably, I’d just want to be healthy for the sake of my family really. I got a bit emotional, I’ve got to be honest.
‘Just to see that and to see the effects on his wife, the pictures of his wife or his girlfriend coming through as well, it was just so emotional man.
The 29-year-old has since released a public statement, insisting he ‘feels better’ and ‘won’t give up’
‘It hits you and just makes you think about life, man, and the importance of really appreciating life and enjoying your life.
It’s just great we can sit here and he’s made comments that are now live in the media about he didn’t know what happened, he’s keen to find out what happened,’ Ferdinand continued.
‘I think they’re saying [it was] a cardiac arrest, I wouldn’t like to jump to conclusions but I think that’s the rumours that I’m hearing.
‘But I just think he’ll obviously be evaluating his life post this, and just hopefully he continues his recovery in the vein that he is at the moment – which seems to be positive.
‘It was a day that football stands still and you go, ”Wow!’ It’s a tournament, we’re happy it’s started” and stuff, but when situations like that happen you think, ”Wow, ok, just look at life”.’
But Ferdinand admits he was moved after seeing pictures of his wife Sabrina Kvist crying
The Group B fixture was initially postponed following Eriksen’s cardiac arrest but later restarted, with Finland going on to win through Joel Pohjanpalo’s goal.
UEFA said the decision to finish the match was made ‘following the request made by players of both teams’ but former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel – who left Manchester United three years before Ferdinand arrived – refuted those claims.
When asked if it was the players’ decision for the game to be restarted after Eriksen had been taken to hospital, Schmeichel told Good Morning Britain: ‘Well that’s an interesting debate.
‘I actually saw an official quote from UEFA yesterday saying that they were following the advice of the player, the players insisted on playing – I know that not to be the truth.
Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel claims Denmark’s players did not want to restart the game
‘Or, it’s how you see the truth. They were left with three options, one was to play immediately and get the last 50 minutes played.
‘The next one was to come in yesterday at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes and the third option was to forfeit the game, 3-0.
‘So work it out for yourself. Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice really? I don’t think they had.
‘As you can hear from yesterday’s press conference, the coach, he seriously regrets putting the players back on to the pitch.’
UEFA have ‘categorically’ denied that there was any threat of a forfeit.