Christian Eriksen’s return to the Denmark side in this year’s World Cup has been hailed as a “miracle” by his countryman and former red, John Sivebaek.
The ex-Danish international, who played for United in the 1986-87 season, has spoken in an interview with MailOnline Sport about Eriksen’s “fairytale return”.
The United midfielder is still one of the Dane’s most essential players just 17 months after suffering a cardiac arrest.
And John Sivebaek, who Alex Ferguson released despite scoring the first goal of the Scotsman’s 26 year Old Trafford tenure, has told how he, and the proud Scandinavian country, were rocked by Eriksen’s misfortune.
“Everyone here remembers where they were when it happened”, the 87-times-capped defender said.
Referring to Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match against Finland, where Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, the 61-year-old Sivebaek described where he was on that great day.
“I was at a summer house with all of my family. We did not know what was wrong – was it a heart attack? Was it something else?’, Sivebaek went on to say.
As he explains, emotions in Denmark both during and after the incident were obviously very raw, with grown men crying and expecting the worst as Eriksen received CPR.
“I was mentally preparing to tell my kids that Christian had died. How can I inform them what has happened to their hero? How can I tell them what they witnessed had the worst possible outcome?” remarked one Danish fan.
But of course, tragedy was avoided, and the player has since gone on to make a return that seemed to many an impossible achievement.
Eriksen completed a successful spell with Brentford in the Premier League before securing a big move to Manchester United in the summer, despite spending eight months out of the game recovering.
Remarkably, he completed a phenomenal comeback on his return to international football just a month later, scoring with his first touch against Holland.
But as the fiercely patriotic Sivebaek explains, the Danish fans were convinced they would never see Eriksen represent his country again.
“I doubted he would play again. It must have been a difficult decision to take. But I watch him now, and he looks more relaxed. He looks like he’s in good shape, in a good place”, enthused Sivabaek.
“There was a fairytale feel to it, and there still is”, admitted the player who won the European Championship with Denmark in 1992.
And as the 2022 Qatar World Cup, all Danish eyes will be fixed on their talisman, hoping that he and their team of heroes can emulate that 1992 side.