Christian Eriksen joins Brentford in remarkable return to football after cardiac arrest
Brentford FC

Christian Eriksen is back in the world of professional football after agreeing a deadline day move to Premier League side Brentford, having suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch just seven months ago.

For many, the best result to come out of Euro 2020 was seeing the attacking midfielder make a full recovery after collapsing while playing for Denmark against Finland last summer.

One of the most distressing events of recent times in football saw him receive life-saving treatment on the pitch in Copenhagen before being rushed to hospital, with fans united around the world in wishing him a full recovery.

After initially unclear whether he’d ever play football again, he’s set to return to the English game after last playing at Tottenham in 2020.

Here are the events that led to his comeback.

June 18 – Undergoes ICD operation

The world paid tribute after the incident at Euro 2020Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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After the 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 fixture with Finland in Copenhagen on June 12th, doctors ran tests and it was decided that he would be fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) – a small device which helps regulate heartbeats.

“After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD,” explained Denmark team doctor Martin Boesen at the time.

“This device is necessary after cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances. Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment. We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy the following time.”

After successfully having the device fitted, he was discharged the next day.

Eriksen said: “Thank you for the massive number of greetings, it has been incredible to see and feel.

“The operation went well and I am doing well under the circumstances. It was great to see the guys again after the fantastic game they played last night. No need to say that I will be cheering them on Monday against Russia.”

October 29 – Suspended from Serie A

Eriksen played 43 league games for InterMarco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter Milan put out a statement that Eriksen was formally suspended from Serie A after having not played since the Euros. It came as a result of having the ICD device fitted, which the league prohibits players from using.

The club said: “Following a serious injury which occurred during the European Championship in June 2021, the player has been temporarily inhibited by the Italian medical authority from sporting activity in the current season.”

December 2 – Training at Odense Boldklub

After months spent recovering, it was announced that Eriken had returned to Odense Boldklub in Denmark to train.

Eriksen played for OB before joining Ajax in 2008, and he worked on the training ground of his youth club on his own to develop his game.

"Eriksen reached out to us, and he is now training by himself," a spokesperson for Odense Boldklub told Reuters.

"It's natural for him since he played here in his youth and lives around the corner. We are very happy to be able to provide training facilities for him," he said.

December 17 – Contract with Inter terminated

Eriksen, who wouldn’t be able to play in Serie A unless removing the ICDm had his contract with Inter ‘terminated by mutual consent’ towards the end of the year.

“FC Internazionale Milano announces that an agreement has been reached for the consensual termination of Christian Eriksen’s contract,” Inter said in a statement.

“The club and the entire Nerazzurri family embrace the player and wish him the best for his future. “Christian was a key figure in our march to the Scudetto – a team effort which Eriksen contributed to with his vision, intuition, passing, assists and goals, including some big ones.”

Late December – Training with FC Chiasso

The footballer trained with the third-tier Swiss sideJonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

While there were still doubts at the time whether he would ever return to the professional game, Eriksen showed remarkable drive to train individually at FC Chiasso in late December.

Leaving his home in Milan in the morning, he would make the one-hour drive to Stadio Comunale, which is the base of the club in the third tier of Swiss football.

FC Chiasso have ties to Inter, and it allowed Eriksen to practice drills on the training pitch with a personal trainer as well as work in the gym.

January 3 – Declared fit to return to football

Eriksen first played for Denmark in 2010Friedemann Vogel/AFP via Getty Images

The new year began with the news Eriksen had been waiting for, after he passed a series of medical tests and was declared fit enough to play competitive sport again.

"The results were so good that we expect him to be involved in a group training with a team later in January," Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoots told Sportsmail.

January 26 – Training with Ajax

Things took a step up for the former Tottenham midfielder towards the end of the month, after he returned to his previous club Ajax to continue his development.

The club posted videos of his training highlights as he worked with first-team players, and he was also spotted curling in a few unstoppable free-kicks.

Eriksen made his name with Ajax from 2010 to 2013, but rather than resign for the Dutch giants, reports were already linking him with a move back to England.

Deadline day move to Brentford – January 31

Eriksen’s return to the game was confirmed on January deadline day, when he joined Brentford as a free agent on a deal until the end of the season.

The midfielder worked with Bees boss Thomas Frank while he was in charge of Denmark’s Under-17s squad during the early stages of his career.

“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford,” Frank said. “He hasn’t trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own.”

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