Daley Blind has suggested Christian Eriksen could play football at the top level once again following the cardiac arrest he suffered on the pitch last weekend.
The Denmark international collapsed on the pitch in his country’s eventual 1-0 defeat to Finland, but the game was brought to a temporary stoppage with immense concern around former Tottenham midfielder Eriksen.
Blind himself suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch back in 2019 when Ajax faced Valencia in the Champions League. But the former Manchester United defender managed to make a full recovery and is still playing for Ajax at an elite European level.
Eriksen is preparing to be fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator following the horrific incident that shook the footballing world.
That procedure is the same on that Blind went through around a year-and-a-half ago.
The 31-year-old Dutchman said: “The images from Copenhagen – with Christian lying on the grass – had such a big impact on me.
“Those images were so recognisable to me. It was so real again, this is why it was so emotional for me.
“I had to climb over a big, mental hurdle before I could manage to play the following day for Holland in our first group game.
“All the emotions came out. I am proud of myself that I managed to play for so long in that game. I did it, but it was hard.
“When this happened to me, the whole world was telling me I was finished as a player, that I would not be able to play again.
“Look where I am today. This is why I say to everyone, ‘Leave Christian alone!’.”
Blind has told his former Ajax team-mate that he can play football again, but needs to trust the advice of his doctors and the ICD device that will monitor his heart.
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He added: “I felt I was ready and I felt comfortable to return once I got the green light from the doctors in the hospital and the medical staff at Ajax.
“There was no reason why I could not play at the top level again. The most important thing is that you have to feel free in your head.
“I had no fear. I was just incredibly happy that I was allowed to be part of the squad again and to be back in the team.
“Once the doctors tell you that you are OK to play again, you only feel the tension and excitement of playing, not the tension of fear.”