Daley Blind considered retiring after seeing Christian Eriksen suffer cardiac arrest during the European Championships last year.
Eriksen nearly lost his life during Denmark’s opening match with Finland when he collapsed and his heart stopped beating but the Manchester United player was thankfully resuscitated and continues to play today.
Blind experienced heart problems himself in 2019, falling to the ground after feeling dizzy during Ajax’s match with Valencia and being fitted with an internal defibrillator as a result.
He has continued playing since then after initially being told he wouldn’t be able to play again, but after seeing his former Ajax team-mate almost pass away on the pitch, he reconsidered retirement.
“It was certainly fraught,” he told NOS.
“I was sitting in my hotel room. I had my wife on the phone, my mother and my friends.
“And then you make the decision. You put on your football boots again, the match is getting closer, it’s going to happen.”
He was subbed off in the match that followed, against Ukraine, and was visibly emotional as he came off, hugging manager Frank de Boer and assistant manager Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The defender was grateful to both of them, who he said were there for him as was the team doctor.
“You can see the emotions after the game, after Frank de Boer’s change,” he added.
“He too was there for me, of course, as were assistant Ruud van Nistelrooij and doctor Edwin Goedhart. Internally, they were all there for me.”