Christian Eriksen has been picked in Denmark’s World Cup squad, just over a year after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 clash with Finland.
FIFA stipulations meant that national teams had to submit a provisional squad, up to a maximum of 55 names, by October 21, before the deadline for a final 26-man squad on November 13, a week before the tournament gets underway.
Denmark have named an initial 21 of the 26-man squad, with the Scandinavian nation set to announce the final five names following the last round of European fixtures this coming weekend.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during the delayed Euro 2020 finals last summer.
The Manchester United midfielder collapsed shortly before half-time during Denmark’s opening game with Finland in the tournament.
He received life-saving treatment on the pitch and was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device in the aftermath – an ICD is a type of pacemaker.
Eriksen, who played for Inter Milan at the time of his collapse – agreed to terminate his contract with the Serie A giants due to regulations which mean that players with an ICD are not allowed to play in Serie A.
As a result, he joined Brentford on a six-month deal in January. The Dane was a revelation in west London as he helped guided the Bees to safety and he contributed four assists and one goal in 10 starts.
Back in January, Eriksen had said it was ‘a goal, a dream’ to win a cap for Denmark again in front of their home support and to play at this winter’s World Cup.
He returned to the national fold in March and scored immediately – two minutes after coming on as a substitute against Netherlands in a romantic return for the Danish icon.
Eriksen moved to Old Trafford in the summer after his deal with Thomas Frank’s Bees expired and he has become a key cog of Erik ten Hag’s side.
In total, the playmaker has scored 39 goals and added 26 assists in 117 caps for Denmark and is one of the finest Danish players of all time.
Elsewhere in the initial 21 selected by Denmark manager Kasper Hjumland, Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was selected, while there was room for Brentford pair Mathias Jensen and Mikkel Damsgaard. The latter infamously scored a world class free-kick against England at the Euro 2020 semi-finals last summer.
Crystal Palace centre-back Joachim Andersen was also picked, as was Leeds right-back Rasmus Kristensen.
Elsewhere, former Leicester City skipper Kasper Schmeichel, who now plays for Nice, was in, while ex-Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen – who moved to Barcelona in the summer, was selected.
Commenting on the initial 21-man squad, Hjumland said: ‘Many things can happen.
‘It’s unsolvable, but it’s the right way to do it – there are two games left for many of our players, and that can easily change things.
‘There are 10 or 12 players still in contention for the last five spots.’
Denmark are in Group D with France, Australia and Tunisia at the tournament and kick off their World Cup campaign against the north African nation on November 22.