Ex-Red Blind opens up about Eriksen incident

Monday 14 June 2021 12:15

Former Manchester United player Daley Blind has admitted he considered missing Netherlands' opening game at Euro 2020, after his friend Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

The Dutchman spent three seasons with the Dane at Ajax between 2010 and 2013, so it was understandably difficult for him to see the terrible events that unfolded in Copenhagen.

Eriksen, the 29-year-old Internazionale player, had emergency medical treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital. It was later confirmed he was stable and had sent greetings to his Denmark team-mates, which convinced them to finish the halted match against Finland.

The incident was particularly emotional for Blind, who was diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation in 2019 after suffering a dizzy spell when playing in the Champions League. 

He was fitted with a pacemaker that treats dangerously abnormal heart rhythms, yet it failed in a friendly last August and he collapsed again – although that was later described as a one-off incident.

On Sunday, Blind eventually decided to play against Ukraine, but broke down in tears when he was substituted in the second half of a 3-2 win, in scenes that were hard for fans to see. 

Our gifted former defender and midfielder revealed afterwards that it was an exceptionally difficult occasion for him to handle. “[Saturday] had a huge impact on me, never mind the fact that I know Christian well as a friend,” Blind told reporters. 
“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. 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 team-mates to play is when I decided to play myself. Also as I'm safe, according to the doctors.”
Blind bumped into former United team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger at the match on Sunday.


A host of United players posted about Christian across the weekend...