Football: Soccer-Swedes pay tribute to Eriksen ahead of Spain clash


SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) – Sweden captain Sebastian Larsson has sent his team’s best wishes to Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen following his collapse during the match against Finland in their Euro 2020 opener in Copenhagen on Saturday.

Sweden had just arrived in Seville for their first group game against Spain when they heard about Eriksen’s collapse and his transfer to hospital following CPR on the pitch, and the 36-year-old Larsson struggled with his emotions as he began the news conference.

“I’d just like to say some words about the awful event that happened yesterday. We were very quickly reached by the terrible news when we landed, it was an awfully uncomfortable feeling,” he told reporters.

“When something like that happens, there are no rivals or different nationalities, just colleagues and fellow human beings. All our thoughts and our love and our strength to Christian, his family and the whole Danish squad,” he added.

The Swedes took pictures at their training session with a banner bearing the words “Fight, Christian” in Swedish, as a gesture of support.

“It does not feel good in any way. You think of Christian and his family, it’s a terrible situation you cannot put yourself in. There are things in this world that show that sports are not the most important thing in life,” Larsson added.

There was little talk of Monday’s Group E clash with Spain as coach Janne Andersson and Larsson addressed the media, and it was replaced by reflection on how the physical health of footballers is managed.

“We are checked regularly. You must have x number of (heart) tests ready before the championships and the regular club team season. I feel confident that I have done the necessary tests,” Larsson said.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; editing by Clare Fallon)

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