Christian Eriksen scores goal for Denmark at Euro 2024, three years after suffering cardiac arrest at previous tournament


Christian Eriksen, in a moment that will be etched in football history, scored Denmark’s first goal at Euro 2024 versus Slovenia.

Three years ago, during Denmark’s Euro 2020 group match against Finland—which was postponed by a year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic—Eriksen collapsed on the field from cardiac arrest.

On the field, the Danish captain received life-saving care before being revived and brought to the hospital.

Christian Eriksen: at Euro 2024
Christian Eriksen celebrates after scoring Denmark’s opening goal against Slovenia. 
Matthias Schrader/AP

Eriksen scored Denmark’s first goal against Slovenia precisely one hundred days after the incident. He took Jonas Wind’s deft back heel on his chest and volleyed it into the bottom corner.

With a broad smile, Eriksen joyfully celebrated his score, which stood in sharp contrast to the tragic sights from Euro 2020.

As Eriksen was being treated that day, his Danish teammates surrounded him, holding him close together to keep him hidden from the cameras and fans in the stadium.

When a conscious Eriksen waved to the fans while being carried off the field, relief was across the stadium and the entire globe.

So, what ought I to say? The next day, Morten Boesen, the team doctor from Denmark, remarked, “He was gone.” “It was cardiac arrest, and we performed cardiac resuscitation. How near did we get? I’m not sure.

Eriksen was given an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a kind of pacemaker that prevents cardiac arrests by delivering a shock to restore normal cardiac rhythm after he received life-saving care on the field.

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Eriksen’s Serie A team, Inter Milan, with whom he was contracted at the time of the event, informed him that he may pursue his football career elsewhere but that he would not be permitted to play in Italy unless the ICD device was removed.

Eriksen began his training career with his old team, Odense Boldklub, in Denmark. In January 2022, he moved on a free transfer to Brentford and Manchester United, where he is a player.

Because of his near-death experience, Eriksen has become an unusually thoughtful and philosophical person about life.

After winning Comeback of the Year at the Laureus Sports Awards in Paris last year, Eriksen told CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies, “I’ve learned that even after a bad time, there’s always a time after where everything will be different.”

“Even if you feel terrific, you’ll feel horrible and then feel good again is one of the first quotes I heard. Time is your best friend; things will only go up and down.

The encounter in Group C concluded in a 1-1 tie because Slovenian defender Erik Janža’s deflected shot in the 77th minute prevented Denmark from building on Eriksen’s goal.