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Soccer star Christian Eriksen 'was gone' after on-field cardiac arrest, doctor says

Eriksen, a 29-year-old midfielder, "continues to be hospitalized for further examination," the Danish Football Union said.

Christian Eriksen, the Danish soccer star who collapsed on the field during a European Championship match Saturday, suffered a cardiac arrest and "was gone" before he was resuscitated with a defibrillator, his team's doctor said.

Eriksen, 29, a midfielder, was stable and "continues to be hospitalized for further examination," the Danish Football Union said Sunday in a statement posted to Twitter. It said Eriksen "sent his greetings to his teammates."

Eriksen was walking alone near the sideline around the 42nd minute of Denmark's opening game, against Finland, when he appeared to suddenly stumble and fall forward. His teammates urged staff members to rush to his aid.

The team then formed a ring around him to shelter him from view as medics performed CPR. Players from both teams, as well as fans in the stadium in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, were visibly distressed and in tears, while the stadium fell silent.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and "was gone" before he was resuscitated, said Denmark's team doctor, Morten Boesen.

"We got him back after one defib. That's quite fast," Boesen said.

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Denmark's captain, Simon Kjær, has been hailed a hero by many in the soccer community for his quick response. Kjær attended to Eriksen before medics arrived and put him into the recovery position.

Kjær then told his teammates to cover Eriksen from cameras as he was treated for around 10 minutes before he was carried off on a stretcher.

Fans of both teams shouted Eriksen's name in support.

As news came through that his condition had improved, the players decided to resume the game almost two hours later. Denmark lost to Finland, 1-0, and Eriksen was named player of the match.

Denmark's manager, Kasper Hjulmand, praised his team in a news conference after the match.

"It was a tough night," Hjulmand said. "We have a group of players I can't praise enough. I couldn't be prouder of these people who take such good care of each other at such a time where one of my very, very dear friends is suffering."

Eriksen's club, Internazionale of Milan, and one of his former clubs, Tottenham Hotspur, tweeted messages of support, and his current and previous teammates have been dedicating their goals to him.

The Associated Press and Ben Kesslen contributed.