'I'm one happy man': Christian Eriksen makes emotional return - in pictures

Former Tottenham playmaker was playing for first time since cardiac arrest during Euro 2020

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Christian Eriksen made an emotional return to competitive football for the first time since collapsing with a cardiac arrest during last year's Euro 2020 tournament, coming on as a substitute for Brentford against Newcastle on Saturday.

The 30-year-old former Tottenham and Inter Milan playmaker sent shockwaves around the world when he collapsed during Denmark's opening Euro 2020 match against Finland in June.

On Saturday, Eriksen was given a standing ovation by the crowd and players of both teams at the Brentford Community Stadium as he came in during the second half.

Eriksen has been fitted with a implantable cardioverter defibrillator, but was unable to continue his career with Italian champions Inter Milan, with ICDs not permitted in Serie A.

That paved the way for a January return to the Premier League, where he spent seven years with Tottenham between 2013 and 2020.

However, it was Newcastle United who claimed a fourth win in five Premier League games with a crucial 2-0 victory at 10-man Brentford on Saturday.

Brentford were up against it from the moment Josh Dasilva was sent off in the 11th minute and Newcastle took full advantage with Joelinton heading them in front. Joe Willock made it 2-0 after a Newcastle counter-attack shortly before halftime.

Brentford barely threatened the Newcastle goal and even an emotional appearance for Eriksen as a 51st-minute substitute could not spark a response.

"If you take away the result I'm one happy man," Eriksen told Sky Sports. "To go through what I've been through, being back is a wonderful feeling.

"Thomas [Frank] didn't say much [when I came on]. I've been speaking to him every day for the last few weeks. He just said 'good luck and enjoy the game'."

Eriksen said his time at Brentford has been memorable ever since he joined the club.

"Everyone is here - my family, my parents, my kids, my mother-in-law and some doctors who have been helping me back and forth. What they've been through is even tougher than what I've been through.

"I think everyone knows every game is very important. I think everyone's very focused on staying up. Nobody's naive, but everyone's focused on their job. The confidence is definitely there to stay up."

Updated: February 26, 2022, 6:39 PM
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