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16 Aug, 2021 11:24

Footballers surround teammate on pitch after he collapses minutes into top-flight French game in eerie reminder of Eriksen horror

Footballers surround teammate on pitch after he collapses minutes into top-flight French game in eerie reminder of Eriksen horror

Players and coaches have admitted they feared the worst when a player in France's top flight collapsed just minutes into a match in front of 50,000 people in a painfully similar incident to Christian Eriksen's ordeal at Euro 2020.

Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu plunged to the floor during Bordeaux's Ligue 1 match at Marseille, causing players from both sides to form a circle around him in an attempt to prevent prying cameras – a repeat of the heroic reaction of Eriksen's teammates when he suffered a cardiac arrest against Finland in June.

Remarkably, the 23-year-old later returned to the pitch for Bordeaux for several minutes, and the stretcher brought on was not required as he made his way off the pitch unaided while holding an ice pack to his head amid sweltering conditions inside the Stade Velodrome.

Kalu also collapsed during Nigeria training at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with his condition being put down to dehydration at the time.

Bordeaux manager and mooted Zenit St Petersburg target Vladimir Petkovic remained troubled by the scare and took Kalu off shortly afterwards, admitting that Eriksen's plight at the finals, where Petkovic coached Switzerland, had been on his mind.

“I was thinking about what happened during the European Championship,” Petkovic told agencies. “With the medical team, we chose to replace him so as not to take any risks. In these cases, football takes a back seat."

Remi Oudin, who came on for Kalu, said the Bordeaux players had been unsettled but added that the club doctor had concluded the collapse was the result of a "dizzy spell".

“With what happened to Eriksen at the Euro, we were left thinking. Everyone was a little scared.

"Fortunately, it turned out well. According to the doctors, it was just an inconvenience, but he will definitely have the tests on Monday.

"We're happy for Kalu. Everything is fine and that's the most important thing."

Oudin scored the equalizer as Bordeaux battled back from 2-0 down at half-time to earn a 2-2 draw and their first point of the season.

Kalu signed a five-year contract at the club after joining from Belgian side Gent in 2018 and has scored twice in 13 appearances for his nation.

Also on rt.com ‘I hope you are comfortable’: Christian Eriksen sends touching personal message to young girl having same heart op he did (VIDEO)