Blind didn’t want to play after Eriksen’s collapse

Dutchman Daley Blind couldn’t hold back his tears after the final whistle in the Netherland’s 3:2 win over Ukraine on Sunday, revealing that he considered not taking part in the game after Christian Eriksen’s collapse; ‘When he encouraged his teammates to play, is when I decided to play myself’.

It can be recalled that Eriksen collapsed in the first half of the game between Denmark and Finland at the ongoing Euro 2020 tournament and was given CPR on the pitch before being transferred to the hospital.

Blind was emotional after he was subbed off in the second half of the game at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Sunday night and admitted that he had to overcome a mental hurdle to be able to participate in his country’s opening game against Ukraine.

“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.

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Eriksen was rescued with the aid of a defibrillator and this brought back some bad memories for Blind who was diagnosed with an inflamed heart muscle back in 2019.

He collapsed for the second time in a year in August 2020 during a friendly with the Dutch giants due to his condition.

“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] teammates to play [finish the match against Finland] is when I decided to play myself. Also because I’m safe, according to the doctors.”