Football: Eriksen scores on Parken return after Euro heart attack

Denmark's Christian Eriksen (left) and Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in action in the Park, Copenhagen, on March 29, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

COPENHAGEN (REUTERS/AFP) - Christian Eriksen scored a brilliant goal as he made his return to the Parken Stadium where he almost died of a heart attack at Euro 2020 last June, netting Denmark's third in a friendly clash with Serbia on Tuesday (March 29).

The 30-year-old playmaker cut onto his right foot and sent a fizzing drive in at the near post in the 57th minute at the opposite end of the pitch to where collapsed in a Euro 2020 group game against Finland.

Eriksen, who made his comeback in club football with Brentford in England's Premier League in February, scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute against Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday.

Denmark and Serbia have both qualified for the World Cup finals in Qatar, which begin in November.

Denmark salutes return

Eriksen was handed the captain's armband and received a standing ovation from the home crowd as he returned to the stadium.

"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.

Denmark's supporters hold a banner reading 'Welcome back Christian' for Danish player Christian Eriksen's comeback on March 29, 2022.

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