You will not be capable to shake the horror of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapsing on the sector throughout their Euro 2020 opener with Finland in Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium on Saturday for some time. Hopefully you will not be capable to shake the humanity that adopted, both. Or the angle that seeing paramedics preventing to save lots of the lifetime of a 29-year-old father — a match athlete within the prime of his profession — brings to all of us. Sports activities, profession, cash … all of it crumbles to mud when confronted with what actually issues: life.
Possibly that is why the second resonated worldwide, damaged right down to its particular person elements.
Eriksen’s teammates forming a human tent round his susceptible physique, shielding him from prying eyes and, on the similar time, shielding us from witnessing the second the sunshine would possibly exit. And all this with out realizing if it had, in truth, gone out and whether or not their gesture was the equal of pulling the sheet over a affected person’s face.
His long-time accomplice, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, the mom of his two youngsters, wearing his No. 10 nationwide workforce jersey, being consoled, powerless, the width of a soccer pitch away, by his captain, Simon Kjaer and his goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel.
The paramedics racing throughout the pitch and dealing to do what they have been skilled to do, one thing that should be routine to them, however which out of the blue turns into an important job on the planet.
The supporters, shocked, not sure, decked in Finnish and Danish colours, some with their faces painted, some shirtless, all terrified by what they had been seeing.
After which, in entrance of screens worldwide, whether or not TV or social media, the collective fear, the starvation for updates. Mortality is one trait that every one of us, wealthy or poor, share. And no, the truth that all of us, to no matter diploma, have spent the final 15 months battling a pandemic that has taken so many lives would not put together us. Not when it is like this. Not when it is so sudden.
That is when those that are blessed with religion — and a few who aren’t — pray. Or put their religion in motive and information and the ability of these working to save lots of Eriksen’s life. Or each. In these moments, ready for updates, many people questioned in regards to the cruelty of all of it. This match, initially scheduled for final summer season, was imagined to be a continent’s first child step on the best way again to some semblance of normality, the primary gentle of daybreak after the lengthy nightmare we have endured … and proceed to endure.
In these moments, those that love this sport — and even those that simply dropped in for the second — had been as one.
Then the information trickled in. From UEFA. From the Danish Soccer Affiliation. From Eriksen’s agent.
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He was conscious. He was talking. He was stable.
“I just spoke to Christian’s father, and he told me that he is breathing, and that he is able to speak,” Martin Schoots, Eriksen’s agent, told Dutch radio.
“Moments like this put everything in life into perspective,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement.
The fans at Copenhagen’s Parken stadium, many of whom steadfastly remained, cheers, just as they had done earlier with the sort of call-and-response between Finns and Danes that gives you goosebumps. The match resumed. Finland won 1-0. And Christian Eriksen was given the Star of the Match award.
“Denmark lose. Life wins.” That was the headline the Danish paper Ekstrabladet chose for their Sunday edition. It was hard to disagree.
The rest of us said thank you. To God, to medicine, to the men and women who looked after him. And we felt a little bit more connected and a little more human.