It is a football fairytale straight out of Hollywood: Christian Eriksen scored with his first touch for Denmark in his first game back since the cardiac arrest episode he suffered during a Euro 2021 match last June.
The 30-year-old was recalled by coach Kasper Hjulmand to the Denmark squad for the March 26 international friendly match against the Netherlands and made his mark in emphatic style, finishing high into the net after coming off the bench.
It was only 287 days before that Eriksen collapsed on the field in the middle of a game after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening Euro 2021 group game against Finland, leading to concerns for his life as he was revived on the pitch.
It was later confirmed in the Danish media that Eriksen had been unconscious with no heartbeat for approximately four minutes. It was only when treated with a defibrillator by medical staff, that the 30-year-old’s heartbeat was restarted.
Eriksen goal highlight vs. Netherlands
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN SCORES TWO MINUTES INTO HIS RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL!!! pic.twitter.com/BztWOVLGqM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 26, 2022
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Nine months later Eriksen made a goalscoring return for his country, following on from a move to Brentford in the Premier League. The midfielder also struck the post against the Netherlands with a stunning shot from distance.
Eriksen came on for Jesper Lindstrom at halftime, and in the second minute after the break he scored the goal that cut the Denmark deficit to a single goal. But the Netherlands would score one more time for the final 4-2 score.
In addition to the two total shots, Eriksen had 43 total touches, a passing accuracy of 86 percent (31 of 36 passes) and he was dispossessed just once, according to FotMob.
It’s the kind of performance to which he accustomed fans over the course of stellar seasons with Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan.
In just three Premier League matches with Brentford since signing on Jan. 31, he already has one assist in just 218 minutes played and is counted on to help the team avoid relegation.
MORE: Why did Christian Eriksen sign with Brentford?
Will Eriksen play in World Cup?
After his collapse, Eriksen was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which prevented him playing for Inter, his club at the time, due to Italian sports regulations.
An agreement was made in December for Eriksen to leave Inter as a free agent, allowing him to sign as a free agent for Brentford, where he has made three Premier League appearances for his new team.
Denmark have already secured their place at the 2022 World Cup after finishing top of Group F in UEFA qualifying with just one defeat in 10 games, giving Eriksen the chance to make his third World Cup and feature once again on the biggest stage of the world in Qatar this November.
“[The national team is] very important. I want to play on the national team in the World Cup,” Eriksen told Danish broadcaster DR1 in early January.
“My dream is to rejoin the national team, play at Parken [Stadium] again and prove that it was a one-timer and that it won’t happen again. I want to prove I’ve moved on and that I can play on the national team again. Again, it’s up to the manager to assess my level, but my heart is not an obstacle.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism