One of Denmark’s biggest football stars has regained consciousness in hospital after earlier collapsing during a game and sparking a dramatic medical emergency.
Midfielder Christian Eriksen hit the ground during his side’s European Championship match with Finland and had to be given CPR on the pitch as the crowd watched on in shock.
Eriksen collapsed suddenly in the 42nd minute of the match while running near the left touchline after a Denmark throw-in.
As a hush fell over the 16,000-strong crowd, his concerned teammates formed a protective ring around him as medics pumped his chest.
The Danish football association (DBU) tweeted that Eriksen was “awake and at Rigshospitalet for further examinations”.
The game was initially suspended but later resumed.
“We have been in contact with him and the players have spoken to Christian,” the DBU’s Peter Moller said.
“He is doing well and they are playing the match for Christian.”
The game was scoreless when Eriksen, 29, who plays club soccer for Inter Milan in Italy, collapsed just before halftime of Saturday’s Group B clash.
Teammates Martin Braithwaite and Thomas Delaney rushed to assist him, with Delaney beckoning furiously for medical assistance.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin paid tribute to Eriksen and the players as he reflected that “moments like this put everything in life into perspective”.
“I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith,” said Mr Ceferin in a statement.
“At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone.
“I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”
People gathered outside bars in central Copenhagen, many in tears, in the long period when Eriksen’s condition remained unclear.
The teams subsequently left the field with officials holding up sheets to hide the stricken player from view, and the stadium announcer told fans the game had been suspended due to a medical emergency.
The crowd at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen sang the national anthem and chanted the player’s name while they were waiting for news.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was one of several players to express concern at the unfolding events.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Christian Eriksen and his family,” Ronaldo said on Instagram.
“The world of football stands together hoping for good news. I’m counting on finding you soon back on the pitch, Chris! Stay strong!”.