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Christen Eriksen hopes his story inspires change that will save footballers

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‘It’s a good thing from a bad thing’ – Christian Eriksen hopes his story can inspire change as he prepares for return to football

Danish star Christian Eriksen almost lost his life this summer after collapsing on the pitch due to cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro2020 group stage opener against Finland.

If not for the quick-reaction timing of his countrymen as well as team doctors and medical staff, the 29-year-old may not be alive today. But thankfully, Eriksen has made a full recovery and is now set for a shock return to the top level of football in Europe with Premier League neutral favorite Brentford.

Eriksen sat down with BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan in an exclusive interview to shed light on the events surrounding that near-tragic summer’s day, but also what good he hopes would come from the event and what positive lessons can be learned and applied as football must continue to effectively tackle the growing issue of cardiac arrests suffered by players across the globe.

The Danish footballing icon stated “It is a good thing from a bad thing. It is turning into a positive that can hopefully save a lot of people in the same situation as me.”

Eriksen has been building up his fitness under Thomas Frank since making his return to the Premier League and is now one of seven Danes on the books at the Brentford Community Stadium, and that aspect as well as a return to a city he and his family “know very well” can provide a platform for him to ease his way back into a career that could well have ended not long ago.

Eriksen is one of the lucky ones | A history of cardiac arrest in football

‘It’s a good thing from a bad thing’ – Christian Eriksen hopes his story can inspire change as he prepares for return to football

Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen warms up before the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / various sources / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

The distressing images that unfolded in Copenhagen this past summer will never be forgotten by those who were at the Parken Stadium in the Danish capital and the millions around the world watching on their TV or streaming devices. But the unfortunate reality remains that too many footballers have died on the pitch as a result of cardiac arrest in recent years.

If you are old enough, you can remember Manchester City’s Marc Vivien Foe collapsing while playing for Cameroon at the Confederations Cup, passing away shortly afterward due to an undiagnosed heart condition. The same can be said for SL Benfica and Hungary striker Miklós Fehér who passed away after suffering cardiac arrest during a match against Vitória de Guimarães.

And there are others…so many others. Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta, Marsonia’s Bruno Boban, Espanyol’s Daniel Jarque, and Fiorentina’s Davide Astori are just a small handful of players who suffered heart-related attacks on the pitch, on the training ground, or in their home and did not survive.

Christian Eriksen and Fabrice Muamba are some of the lucky ones that have lived to use their voice in hopes that increased awareness can result in federations doing what it takes to ensure that heart health and the ability to respond to heart-related emergencies do not go unanswered.






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Man City handed double boost ahead of Aston Villa

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Man City handed double boost ahead of Aston Villa

 

Premier League-chasing Manchester City have, on Thursday, been afforded an altogether timely double boost on the personnel front.

Pep Guardiola’s troops are of course primed to return to action in 72 hours’ time.

In the knowledge that a three-point haul will see them assured of back-to-back titles in the English top-flight, the Sky Blues are set to welcome Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa to the Etihad, for a final day clash.

And, after stuttering to a 2-2 stalemate with West Ham last time out, City, this time round, will likely be considerably more confident in keeping their upcoming opponents at bay.

This comes owing to a pair of timely returns to fitness in the club’s first-team ranks.

As confirmed in a post across the Citizens’ social media platforms on Thursday, John Stones and Kyle Walker, both of whom were forced to sit out at the London Stadium owing to injury, have returned to training alongside the rest of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The two defenders, in turn, are expected to be available for selection this coming Sunday.

Wolves test

Turning attentions towards the other protagonist in the Premier League’s title race, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will welcome Wolverhampton Wanderer to Anfield this weekend, primed to take advantage of any potential slip-up on Man City’s part.

The Reds, amid an ongoing pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, currently sit just a point adrift of the table-topping Sky Blues.

This comes after Klopp and co, despite a whole raft of changes, emerged from a meeting with Southampton with a hard-fought 2-1 win on Tuesday night.

 

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Robert Lewandowski’s agent drops major hint over Barcelona switch

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Robert Lewandowski’s agent drops major hint over Barcelona switch

 

Word stemming from the Spanish media over the course of the last 24 hours points towards Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski inching ever closer to a move to Barcelona.

Speculation surrounding the future of Polish international Lewandowski has of course been rampant in the media for some time now.

This comes with the 33-year-old, fresh off another scintillating campaign in front of goal, eyeing a move away from Bavaria ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Speaking ahead of the club’s final Bundesliga outing of the season last weekend, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed as much, albeit whilst adding that Lewandowski is expected to see out the remaining year on his current contract:

To this point, the outfit most frequently tipped as a summer landing spot for Bayern’s star man have of course been Barcelona.

This comes with Xavi and co. understood to be highly appreciative of Lewandowski’s goalscoring talents, and evidently of the opinion that heading into the new season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the club’s first-choice centre-forward is out of the question.

And, as alluded to above, if the latest rumours emanating from Spain are anything to go by, then the Blaugrana appear primed to imminently land their man.

As per transfer journalist Gerard Romero, Pini Zahavi, Lewandowski’s representative, was in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Not only that, but, during his trip, the super agent paid a visit to the club’s official store, to allegedly purchase no fewer than ten Barca jerseys, all with Lewandowski’s name emblazoned across the back.

Blues keen

Interestingly, word of Barcelona’s swoop for ‘Lewa’ inching ever closer comes fresh on the back of the 33-year-old being linked with a move to another of European football’s heavyweights just days ago.

The outfit in question? Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

 

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Jordan Ayew escapes punishment in reckless challenge against Everton

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Why Jordan Ayew was not sent off for ‘reckless’ challenge vs Everton

Iconic Premier League club Everton are in a fight for their lives in the top flight of English football coming into the final weekend of action in the 2021-22 season, and at the time of writing are hosting Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace at Goodison Park with anything less than a win set to subject the Toffees to a final day of action on Sunday that could consign them to relegation.

But Everton fans will undoubtedly feel aggrieved after Eagles forward Jordan Ayew escaped serious punishment after a reckless challenge on academy graduate Anthony Gordon right next to both dugouts during the first half of play.

Ayew was seen to hack down Gordon with a scissor motion while contesting possession and made no attempt to win the ball, with players on both sides losing their cool in the resulting scrum.

It could not have come at a worse time for Everton given the gravity of the evening, and though the Toffees have fought back to lead 3-2 at the time of writing after Jean-Philippe Mateta and the aforementioned Ayew gave the Eagles a two-goal lead ahead of Michael Keane, Richarlison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin bringing matters into Everton’s hands, the fact that the Premier League came out in response to state that the tackle was “reckless” but not worthy of a red card once against calls into question the FA and the inconsistent refereeing standards in the league.

If Ayew was correctly sent off given the video and picture evidence on hand, matters could well be different regardless of the fact that Everton have done incredibly well to fight back when it has mattered most.

With both teams now in stoppage time, it’s clear that the Toffees found fuel through injustice with their Premier League lives at stake.


This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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