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Denmark salutes captain Eriksen on Copenhagen return

Copenhagen (AFP) – Christian Eriksen was handed the captain’s armband and received a standing ovation from the home crowd as he returned to the Copenhagen stadium where he suffered a cardiac arrest last year.

“Welcome home Eriksen” and “Welcome home Christian” banners were unfurled by fans as the players took to the pitch at Parken Stadion, the capital’s national stadium, for an international friendly against Serbia.

The match was sold out, unheard of for a friendly match in Denmark for years. 

Eriksen had revealed his emotion on the eve of his return to the stadium where little more than nine months ago he collapsed in Euro 2020 match.

“It’s always been special to play in Parken but tomorrow it will probably be a little more special,” the 30-year-old told Danish television.

“It’s a good end to a chapter but also the start of a new one”. 

The playmaker collapsed in Denmark’s opening game of the European Championships against Finland in Copenhagen on June 12 last year, remaining lifeless for long minutes.

He had to be resuscitated on the pitch, lying unconscious for several minutes as the stunned crowd and millions of television viewers around the world watched on in horror.

Eriksen spent several days in hospital and had a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat.

Eriksen has shone for Premier League side Brentford since signing in January after being released by Inter Milan.

And he scored on his international return last Saturday two minutes after coming off the bench in a 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands for his 37th goal in 110 appearances. 

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