First game on Tuesday

    “My goal is to be at the World Cup in Qatar. I want to play,” announced midfielder Christian Eriksen earlier this year in his first interview after collapsing in the European Championship group game against Finland in June 2021. Denmark will start the tournament in Group D against Tunisia on Tuesday (from 2 p.m. in the TM live ticker) and there is a high probability that the 30-year-old will be in coach Kasper Hjulmand’s starting XI. With the broadcasterNOS‘ Eriksen spoke in advance about his situation over the past year and a half.

    “It’s very bitter when you think about it. What my career and life was like back then. A complete contrast to being here a year later and taking part in the World Cup,” said Eriksen, who suffered cardiac arrest in the match against Finland. A few months later, his then club Inter Milan mutually terminated the contract, which ran until 2024, because playing with an implanted defibrillator is not allowed in Italy. Eriksen briefly kept fit with his hometown club Odense BK, joining Brentford FC in the Premier League at the end of January before moving to Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer. During the first half of the season, the right-footed player was involved in seven goals in 20 competitive games for the “Red Devils” and is set under coach Erik ten Hag.

    An impressive development given that just a year ago it was completely unclear whether Eriksen would even be able to return to professional football. After his return to the big stage in Brentford, he quickly proved that he hadn’t lost his footballing qualities, where he scored in just his third game for the “Bees” and played ten of his eleven games for the full 90 minutes. The 117-time national player was called back to the “Danish Dynamite” squad for the first time at the end of March and played all six games in the Nations League this year – now he has fulfilled his World Cup dream.

    With Musiala, Neymar & Co.: The most valuable players of the 2022 World Cup

    20 Neymar – Brazil – market value: €75M

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    20 Bruno Fernandes – Portugal – market value: €75M

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    20 Antony – Brazil – market value: €75M

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    20 Lautaro Martínez – Argentina – market value: €75M

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    20 Rúben Dias – Portugal – market value: €75M

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    20 Gabriel Jesus – Brazil – market value: €75M

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    20 Mason Mount – England – market value: €75M

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    12 Rodrygo – Brazil – market value: €80M

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    12 Aurélien Tchouameni – France – market value: €80M

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    12 Rodri – Spain – market value: €80M

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    12 Kevin De Bruyne – Belgium – market value: €80M

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    12 Declan Rice – England – market value: €80M

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    12 Joshua Kimmich – Germany – market value: €80M

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    12 Dušan Vlahović – Serbia – market value: €80M

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    12 Bernardo Silva – Portugal – market value: €80M

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    11 Rafael Leão – Portugal – market value: €85M

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    8 Gavi – Spain – market value: €90M

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    8 Bukayo Saka – England – market value: €90M

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    8 Harry Kane – England – market value: €90M

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    4 Federico Valverde – Uruguay – market value: €100M

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    4 Jude Bellingham – England – market value: €100m

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    4 Pedri – Spain – market value: €100M

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    4 Jamal Musiala – Germany – market value: €100M

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    3 Phil Foden – England – market value: €110M

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    2 Vinicius Junior – Brazil – market value: €120M

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    1 Kylian Mbappé – France – market value: €160M

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    Denmark’s Eriksen: “Everything else is extra. That’s my motto now”

    “I was hoping I could come along. That I would be healthy enough and get the doctors’ permission. I’m grateful for that,” said Eriksen, who elaborated: “Not being able to play always feels like a long time. Whether you have a minor injury or a major one, it always feels longer than it is. But if you look at how I’m doing now, after all that, it’s happened very quickly, both in football and in my private life.”

    When asked if he sees football differently now than he did before the event in the summer of 2021, the midfielder said: “I think so. I’ve said it before, but I’ve never felt stressed. As a player, in every situation. But now I subconsciously assume that everything will work out. I’m thankful to be here. Everything else is extra. That’s my motto now.”

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