Netherlands utility man Daley Blind revealed that he struggled to take to the field for their match against Ukraine on Sunday after watching his former teammate Christian Eriksen fall on the pitch on Saturday.
Eriksen collapsed during the first half of their Euro 2020 clash with Finland in Copenhagen after suffering a cardiac arrest the previous day a game which Blind said he was watching.
The incident reminded Blind of his own situation after the former Manchester United man was diagnosed with a heart muscle inflammation after he complained of dizziness during Ajax’s Champions League game with Valencia in December 2019.
The 31-year-old had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted after that scare, which subsequently went off in a friendly against Hertha BSC in August 2020.
“I had to overcome a mental hurdle to play. I’m proud that I did it. Then eventually the emotion comes out. That has such an impact. For me, they were recognizable things. That made it so intense,” Blind told Dutch broadcaster NOS via The Sun after his side’s dramatic win over Ukraine.
Blind started the game against Ukraine and played on the left of a back three where he lasted over an hour before being replaced by Nathan Ake.