Soccer-Eriksen completes fairytale return to Denmark's Euro squad

  • Football
  • Thursday, 30 May 2024

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Denmark Training - Helsingoer, Denmark - March 19, 2024 Denmark's Christian Eriksen during training Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix via REUTERS/ File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Playmaker Christian Eriksen, whose last outing at the European Championship for Denmark ended in a heart attack witnessed by millions watching around the world, has been included in Kasper Hjulmand's squad for Euro 24 in Germany.

The 32-year-old was among the 26 names announced on Thursday for the tournament in which Denmark play Slovenia, England and Serbia in Group C, but there was no place for English-born midfielder Matt O'Riley, despite a fine season with Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

"It's hard to disappoint someone, these are boyhood dreams that come up short, (but) I'm very happy with the squad we have," Hjulmand told reporters.

Eriksen sent fans into shock in 2021 when he sank to the turf at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen in the Danes' Euro opener against Finland. He recovered and with the aid of an implanted heart device resumed his playing career.

He will be joined in Germany by Manchester United team mate Rasmus Hojlund and is expected to have a more central role in the Danish midfield, with Club Brugge winger Andreas Skov Olsen taking over his old position on the right.

Mikkel Damsgaard, who shouldered the creative burden after Eriksen's collapse and led the team out of the group stage and on to a semi-final defeat tby England at Euro 2020, has also been included despite a rocky season at Premier League side Brentford.

Defender Simon Kjaer made the squad after missing a number of late-season games for Italian side AC Milan due to a thigh injury.

"We have a lot of data on him, we have visited him and have it fully under control. He is now in a place where he is completely ready, he is in good physical condition," Hjulmand told reporters.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond)

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