Christian Eriksen’s return from nearly dying on the pitch has been remarkable. Photo: Getty Images
The quadrennial UEFA European Football Championships had to wait five years for its most recent edition, with three years separating the delayed 2020 event to its regularly scheduled 2024 showcase because of the coronavirus pandemic. As the Euros got underway after a 365-day delay, it was a celebration to have such a large-scale event back weeks before the Tokyo Olympics. It took less than 24 hours for the fragility of life brought to the forefront during the pandemic to present its awful self during the Euros.
In the 43rd minute of Denmark’s match against Finland, Christian Eriksen went into cardiac arrest on the field and collapsed. To give Eriksen as much privacy as possible, his Danish teammates surrounded the EMTs attempting to stabilize him. Suddenly, playing in such a huge event felt small. Making sure one of Denmark’s best survived, much less played sports again, was paramount. Eriksen was nursed back to full health and the match continued only after confirmation was given that he was awake.
Eriksen’s comeback has been miraculous and took another triumphant step Friday, signing a three-year contract with Manchester United, 389 days after the collapse. How unlikely did Denmark’s No. 10 joining one of the biggest clubs in the world seem last June? I’d say it was impossible, especially when Eriksen’s former club, Inter Milan, wasn’t allowed to play him. Serie A didn’t permit his implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
Inter terminated his contract soon after Eriksen began training again last December, so he signed with Premier League club Brentford in January — a step down for him, as he’s usually played with a squad consistently taking part in European competition. Instead, his efforts to help Brentford avoid relegation were successful with a 13th-place finish. He returned to the Danish national team, too, in March, scoring two minutes into his international return.
Eriksen scores in emotional return to Denmark | International Friendly Highlights | ESPN FC
While Man U isn’t competing…
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