Christian Eriksen celebrated his 30th birthday by making a remarkable return to the pitch after over eight months of being sidelined, contributing an assist in a behind-closed-doors practice match of Brentford against Southend. Eriksen, who hasn’t played since suffering a cardiac arrest against Finland in the Euro 2020 football matches, signed with Premier League side Brentford until the end of the current season.
The former Tottenham playmaker played his debut match for 60 minutes in a 3-2 win. His assist came after he found the ball in midfield with a neat tackle, before passing it to Josh Dasilva, who scored a hat-trick on the day. “I had a lovely day yesterday,” Eriksen wrote in a social media post. “It was my birthday and being back on the pitch! Thanks for all the messages.”
Despite the loss, Southend head coach praised Brentford’s performance, especially Eriksen’s involvement in the friendly clash. “Seeing what happened in the summer, just to see him back on a football pitch was brilliant,” Maher said in an interview. “I’m delighted that Brentford invited us down and I’m glad we could participate.”
During the opening match of Euro 2020 between Finland and Denmark, the Danish footballer suddenly collapsed on the pitch in the 42nd minute of the game. He suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated before being stretchered off the field. The incident required him to wear an implanted defibrillator, a device connected to the heart that sends an electrical pulse to correct irregular rhythms.
The Danish is the first known professional footballer to play with an ICD in the English top flight. Previously, Eriksen spent six and a half seasons with Tottenham before joining Inter in January 2020 and made 60 appearances in all competitions before the incident, scoring eight goals. The Danish could be available for the home clash with Newcastle on February 26.
Before his return to the pitch, he has passed all the required medical checks and cleared to play in the Premier League with the ICD. He aims to make a comeback in order to play for Denmark at the 2022 World Cup in December. The playmaker has won 109 caps for his country, had signed a contract which runs until the summer of 2024. Denmark went on to earn a spot at Qatar 2022 by topping its group.
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