Daley Blind was in tears after the final whistle of the Netherlands 3-2 win over Ukraine, admitting he considered not playing after Christian Eriksen’s collapse. ‘When he encouraged his own teammates to play, is when I decided to play myself’.
Eriksen collapsed during the first half of Denmark vs. Finland and was given CPR on the pitch before he was transferred to hospital.
Blind was emotional when he was substituted in the second half of the match at the Johan Cruyff Arena last night and admitted he had to overcome ‘a mental hurdle’ to take part in the opener against Ukraine.
Denmark doctor confirms Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest: ‘He was gone…’
“Yesterday had a huge impact on me, never mind the fact that I know Christian well as a friend,” he told NOS after the match.
The former Eriksen was rescued with a defibrillator, and it brought back some bad memories for Blind, who was diagnosed with an inflamed heart muscle in 2019.
In August 2020, the Ajax defender collapsed for a second time in a year during a friendly with the Dutch giants due to his conditions.
“The situation for him is terrible. Of course, I have also experienced a few things in that area, so that I had to overcome a mental hurdle to play today.
“I had to persuade myself to play but I’m proud that I did and that’s why my emotion came bursting out at the end of the game.
“I definitely thought about not taking part. The images on television and the incident had a big impact and I didn’t sleep very well because of them. I really had to overcome a big hurdle to do this.”
“If it didn’t go well, it would have haunted my head even more. When Christian encouraged his own [Denmark] team-mates to play [finish the match against Finland] is when I decided to play myself. Also because I’m safe, according to the doctors.”