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Euro 2024: Christian Eriksen’s first European Championship game after his cardiac arrest

Euro 2024: Christian Eriksen’s first European Championship game after his cardiac arrest
Euro 2024: Christian Eriksen’s first European Championship game after his cardiac arrest

The 2024 European Championship has its first big, touching story: Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field at the previous European Championship. He is back against Slovenia – with a greeting to the critics.

It is usually the beautiful moments of European football championships that make it into the collective memory. At the previous European Championship in 2020, which was held in 2021 because of Corona, another image also appeared in the memories: that of the Dane Christian Eriksen lying motionless on the ground.

He suffered a cardiac arrest in the match against Finland and had to be resuscitated on the field. The players on the field, the spectators in the Copenhagen stadium and millions of people in front of the TV screens watched the scenes in shock. This Sunday, three years later, Eriksen was back on the field for the first time in a European Championship match against Slovenia. And he wrote a story that the sporting world loves.

Euro 2024: Christian Eriksen scores 1-0 against Slovenia

Just 17 minutes had been played when the ball landed in the opponent’s penalty area at the feet of the 32-year-old, who took it with his chest and placed it in the bottom corner of the goal. It was an almost perfect story. Almost, because Slovenia equalized in the 77th minute through Erik Janza and the game ended 1:1 – a difficult result for the European Championship insider tip according to some experts.

Those experts are also part of Eriksen’s story. After his cardiac arrest, he had a pacemaker implanted that allows him to continue playing at the top level. But there were discussions in the run-up to the European Championships about whether the man who plays for Manchester United is currently at that level at all.

Some Danish commentators had questioned his class and clearly questioned the decision of coach Kasper Hjulmand to continue to rely on the central midfielder. His performances for Manchester were too inconsistent.

The first answers to the doubters came on the pitch. Eriksen is the key player in the Danish team structure, he proved this again against Slovenia and, as a further counterargument, also snatched the award as player of the match. However, they still have to confirm their performance throughout the entire tournament. The Danes still have to face at least England and Serbia – certainly not easy opponents.

Source: Stern

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