Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), the midfielder of the Danish national football team, showed a ‘human victory’. Suffering a sudden heart attack during a game last year, he put on a defibrillator and stepped on the World Cup stage, giving soccer fans around the world an impression that went beyond winning and losing.
On the 22nd, Eriksen started the match with the number 10, the symbol of the ‘Ace’, in the group D match against Tunisia held at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar. For Eriksen, this is his third World Cup stage.
Eriksen, the conductor of Denmark’s midfield, ran the ground non-stop throughout the 90 minutes ‘full time’. On this day, Eriksen was responsible for the attacking path enough to make 16 crosses, the most in the team. In the 24th minute of the second half, he fired a powerful mid-range shot and aimed at the Tunisian goal, but it was caught by the Tunisian goalkeeper. The two teams, who continued their fierce battle, drew without scoring until the end of the game. Denmark, who were aiming to win their first game in the group stage, had to be content with sharing one point.
However, this game was worth more than simply sharing points. It was a game that gave hope to everyone watching the game just by the fact that Eriksen safely stood on the stage of the World Cup.
Eriksen collapsed after suffering a heart attack during a match against Finland at the 2020 European Football Championship held in Copenhagen, Denmark last June. He received first aid and narrowly survived, but no one expected him to be able to play on the pitch again. However, Eriksen showed a willingness to return to the field and began his rehabilitation. Eriksen, who moved to Brentford FC of the English Premier League (EPL) earlier this year, announced a successful revival by moving to Manchester United, a big club, last summer. And with a defibrillator implanted in his body, he returned to the World Cup stage wearing the national team uniform. According to the International Football Federation (FIFA), Eriksen’s heart was still hot enough to run 12.5km, the longest distance in the team that day. Eriksen said at a press conference ahead of the opening of the tournament, “I set my goal to participate in the World Cup in Qatar on the first day I started running again (after suffering a cardiac arrest).”
Reporter Jang Han-seo [email protected]
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