Christian Eriksen to have pacemaker implanted; Denmark-Belgium game stopped for tribute

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  • Christian Eriksen
    Christian Eriksen
    Danish association football player

Christian Eriksen, the Danish midfielder who collapsed and nearly died in his team’s opening match, will have a pacemaker implanted.

“After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD (heart starter),” national team doctor Morten Boesen said in a statement. “This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.”

An ICD is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a type of pacemaker.

Meanwhile, Eriksen’s teammates — who understandably struggled against Finland when play resumed after the episode — were off to a stunning start against tournament favorite Belgium. Just two minutes in, striker Yussuf Poulsen scored to give Denmark a 1-0 lead in front of a home crowd in Copenhagen. They held onto the lead through halftime, but Belgium scored two second-half goals for a 2-1 win.

Eight minutes after Poulsen’s goal, the Belgians stopped play in a pre-planned tribute to Eriksen.

No update has been given regarding a possible return to soccer for the 29-year-old Eriksen. The procedure could complicate a return to his domestic club. Eriksen plays professionally for Inter Milan in Italy’s Serie A. For safety reasons, Italian regulations do not permit players to compete with defibrillators.