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.
Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu collapsed in the sixth minute of Bordeaux’s Ligue 1 match at Marseille on Sunday, and was substituted after briefly returning to the pitch. pic.twitter.com/htVYzmkR8C
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) August 15, 2021
Nigeria forward Samuel Kalu collapsed less than 10 minutes into Bordeaux’s Ligue 1 game at Marseille today. Second time he’s collapsing on the pitch (first was with the Super Eagles in 2019). I really hope he’s very much okay and can still keep playing pic.twitter.com/9hYJMl8chf
— ChrisBest Oguguo (@cboguguo) August 15, 2021
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.
Samuel Kalu collapsed on the pitch and was subbed off in the Marseille vs Bordeaux match in Ligue 1Swift Recovery Kalu ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BxCZ9YSsxg
— Naija Football Talk ⚽️ (@NaijaFT_tweet) August 15, 2021
Samuel Kalu collapsed five minutes into Bordeaux’s clash with Marseille tonight. He was back on his feet moments later before he got subbed off.Wish you quick recovery, Sam ? pic.twitter.com/qyFeore7BW
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) August 15, 2021
“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.
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