LONDON (Reuters) -Christian Eriksen made his return to competitive action for the first time since collapsing with a cardiac arrest at last year’s Euro 2020 tournament as he came on for Brentford against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Danish midfielder, fitted with a heart-starting device, joined the London club as free agent in January.
He received a thunderous reception from both sets of fans at Brentford Community Stadium as he came on as a substitute in the 51st minute, with several players also clapping the 30-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker on to the pitch.
Eriksen needed life-saving treatment on the pitch last June when he collapsed in a match against Finland.
His former club Inter Milan ended his contract in December as he is not allowed to play in Serie A because of his heart starter device, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
While Eriksen was unable to inspire a comeback as Brentford lost 2-0 to leave them deep in relegation trouble, the midfielder said it had been a special moment.
“If you take away the result, I’m one happy man. To go through what I’ve been through, being back is a wonderful feeling,” Eriksen said.
Photo Brentford’s Christian Eriksen (C) in action against Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes (R) during the English Premier League soccer match between Brentford FC and Newcastle United in London, Britain, 26 February 2022. EPA-EFE/Daniel Hambury