Ajax midfielder Evander Sno had be to revived by a defibrillator on three occasions after suffering a cardiac arrest during Monda night's reserve game at Vitesse Arnhem, according to coach Albert van der Dussen.
The 23-year-old fell to the ground 18 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute and was treated on the pitch for more than 10 minutes before being taken to hospital.
"At first I thought he stumbled, but very quickly everyone realised there was something seriously wrong due to the foam around his mouth," Van der Dussen told AD. "Fortunately our doctor and physio were there quickly. They have performed an heroic act and saved his life."
He added: "They gave him the defibrillator three times. We feared for his life, he was very lucky."
Sno, who started his career at Feyenoord before spells at NAC Breda, Celtic, Ajax and Bristol City, finally came round.
"He looked surprised to see all those people there," added Van der Dussen.
"I don't think he realised what was going on but everyone was greatly relieved.
"The ambulance crew then took over and took him to hospital."