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Eriksen celebrates birthday by playing in Brentford friendly

London (AFP) – Christian Eriksen played his first match in a Brentford shirt on Monday, celebrating his 30th birthday by appearing in a friendly just eight months after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The former Tottenham Hotspur star has not played in an official match since his brush with death during Denmark’s European Championship game against Finland last June.

After being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), Eriksen was unable to continue his career with Inter Milan due to health regulations in Italy.

The midfielder ultimately made a surprise Premier League return by signing for Brentford, like Tottenham a London-based side, on January 31.

Brentford said Eriksen played his first minutes for his new team on Monday, coming through an hour of a 3-2 win against Southend United in a match held behind closed doors.

Eriksen set up one of the goals and went close to scoring himself in the opening minutes but was denied by the goalkeeper.

The playmaker was introduced to Brentford fans before Saturday’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace.

Speaking at his first press conference as a Brentford player the previous day, Eriksen said he had no fears about playing again less than a year after the incident at Euro 2020.

“Of course it is getting closer and closer,” he said. “I do feel in my head and body that the excitement is coming, the adrenaline is coming more and more towards game time.

“No, if there was any anxiety I wouldn’t go back. If I wasn’t fully committed and feel like I am trusting of the doctors, trusting of my heart, trusting my ICD in me, then I wouldn’t go back. 

“No, I feel 100 percent secure to go back.”

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