Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen returned to competitive football on Saturday over eight months after collapsing on the pitch following a cardiac arrest during last summer’s European Championships. The 30-year-old came on as a second-half substitute during Brentford’s Premier League match against Newcastle, with the stadium applauding and cheering on the former Spurs man on his return.
The 52nd minute substitution had a link to that traumatic day at the European Championship. The player who Eriksen came on for was Mathias Jensen, who had replaced him in the Denmark team when the game against Finland in Copenhagen eventually resumed despite the distress of the star being in the hospital with an uncertain fate.
Eriksen was walking alone on the sidelines around the 42nd minute before he appeared to stumble and eventually collapsed. Teammates rushed the midfielder and medical staff was called immediately.
Denmark went on to lose the game 1-0.
Now Eriksen has resumed his professional playing career after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
The need for an ICD meant Eriksen had to leave Serie A team Inter Milan due to Italian regulations. But Brentford stepped in to sign the free agent in the January transfer window.
Brentford was already trailing 2-0 to Newcastle when Eriksen entered with the west London club having to cope with 10 men after a first-half sending off. While Eriksen couldn’t inspire a comeback, he did help to limit the damage.
In his own words, Eriksen said he was “gone from this world for five minutes” after collapsing on the field on the second day of the European Championship.
Now, after featuring in two warm-up games recently for Brentford without fans, Eriksen has made his competitive return to action — with playing at the World Cup in November his target.