Videos by OutKick
The last time Danish soccer star Christian Eriksen stepped on the pitch for his home country, he was in a fight for his life.
It was on that June 2021 night in Copenhagen where Eriksen, 30, collapsed in the 42nd minute of Denmark’s UEFA Euro 2020 Group Stage match against Finland. The next day, it was determined that Eriksen had suffered cardiac arrest. Eriksen admitted later that he was “gone from this world for five minutes,” before doctors were able to get his heartbeat back.
But not even a year later, Eriksen was back on the pitch Saturday, donning the white and red of Denmark for the first time since his cardiac arrest. In an international friendly between Denmark and the Netherlands, Eriksen made an immediate impact after coming on as a half time substitute.
With Denmark down 3-1, Eriksen made his first touch of the match and smashed it into the top left corner, evading the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
The goal was Eriksen’s first in any competition since May 2021, when he played for Inter Milan in Serie A. The Netherlands went on to win the match, 4-2, but the story afterwards was Eriksen, who was back to playing at a high level for his country after a near-death experience.
“I felt very welcome [by the Netherlands fans],” Eriksen told Sky Sports. “I’ve been here before [for Ajax] for many years so of course they know me, but it was a very heart-warming reception for sure. I was happy the ball came to me and of course, it was a lovely finish. To start the comeback in international football like this was the perfect way.
“I’m looking forward to playing at the Qatar World Cup but there are a lot of games in between and I’m focused on them.”
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