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Christian Eriksen wants to play for Denmark in this year’s World Cup as the former Tottenham playmaker targets a remarkable comeback from his cardiac arrest.

The 29-year-old’s world was turned upside down in June when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Euro 2020 group match against Finland in Copenhagen.

Eriksen received life-saving treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital and was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device.

The attacking midfielder has not played since but has been stepping up individual training as he looks to playing for his country again.

“My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar,” Eriksen said. “I want to play. That’s been my mindset all along.

“It’s a goal, a dream. Whether I’ll be picked is another thing. But it’s my dream to come back.

“I’m sure I can come back because I don’t feel… I don’t feel any different. Physically, I’m back in top shape.

“That’s been my goal and it’s still some time away, so until then I’m just going to play football and prove that I’m back at the same level.”

Asked how important the national team is in this process, he told Danish broadcaster DR1: “Very important. I want to play on the national team in the World Cup.

“My dream is to rejoin the national team and play at Parken again and prove that it was a one-timer and that it won’t happen again.

“I want to prove I’ve moved on and that I can play on the national team again.

“Again, it’s up to the manager to assess my level. But my heart is not an obstacle.”

Eriksen thanked doctors, team-mates and well-wishers in the interview, with the former Ajax man speaking about how he “died for five minutes” on the pitch.

“It was amazing that so many people felt a need to write or send flowers,” he said.

“It had an impact on so many people and they felt a need to let me and my family know. That makes me very happy.

“At the hospital, they kept saying I’d received more and more flowers.

“It was weird because I didn’t expect people to send flowers because I’d died for five minutes.

“It was quite extraordinary but it was very nice of everyone and it’s been a big help to me to receive all those best wishes. And people still write to me.

“I’ve thanked people I’ve met in person. I’ve thanked the doctors, my team-mates and their families in person.

“But all the fans who’ve sent thousands of letters and emails and flowers, or who’ve come up to me on the street both in Italy and Denmark, I thank them all for the support I got from all over the world that helped me through this.”

Eriksen spent six-and-a-half seasons at Tottenham before joining Inter Milan in January 2020 for a fee in the region of £17million.

He was part of last season’s Serie A title triumph but left the Nerazzurri last month as Serie A rules would not allow him to play with an ICD.

Eriksen spent some time training on his own at Odense – where he was a youth team player between 2005 and 2008 – and was recently seen practising alone at Swiss club Chiasso.

His agent Martin Schoots told the Daily Mail: “It is going really well for Christian.

“He had all the medical checks just before Christmas and the results were so good that we expect him to be involved in a group training with a team some time later in January.”

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Denmark became the second European nation to reach the 2022 World Cup after a 1-0 home win over Austria on Tuesday left them top of qualifying Group F with an unassailable seven-point lead over second-placed Scotland with two games to spare.

After Germany advanced to the 32-nation tournament in Qatar on Monday, the Danes secured their own berth as a 53rd-minute goal from Joakim Maehle helped them to an eighth successive qualifying victory.

Denmark and Germany joined Qatar, who gained an automatic spot in the finals as the host nation. Only the group winners from European qualifying advance directly while the runners-up enter the playoffs.

Denmark have scored 27 goals and conceded none so far in World Cup qualifying, with their run to the finals underpinned by some impressive free-flowing football.

They did, however, look jittery for long spells against a well-organised Austria side.

Visiting goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann denied Andreas Skov Olsen and Mikkel Damsgaard in the first half and then kept out a Thomas Delaney effort in the 48th minute as the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances.

But Bachmann was powerless five minutes later as Denmark’s best moment of the match produced a brilliant goal with Delaney at the heart of a breathtaking move.

The central midfielder weaved his way past four markers through the middle and then teed up Maehle to plant his shot from eight metres inside the near post and delight the home fans in a packed Parken stadium.

Delaney was elated after the match as Denmark made it to their second successive World Cup, having reached the round of 16 in the 2018 tournament before advancing to the Euro 2020 semi-finals this year.

“It’s a pleasure throughout, in every match,” Delaney told the country’s Kanal 5 television.

“The support we’ve had. It is unique, what we have created, we can be proud of. There have been winds against us in other qualifying campaigns. This is something quite unique to us.”

Maehle added: “It means a lot, it’s one of the coolest nights in the Park in a long time. It is fantastic. It’s strong for us to win here, and we got this ticket to the World Cup.”

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Denmark struck early to finish off Scotland in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Copenhagen.

Steve Clarke’s side were two down in 15 minutes through goals from Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle and were then run ragged for the rest of the first half.

A reshuffled Scotland side with Lyndon Dykes on for the second half showed marked improvement but nowhere near enough to dent the scoreline.

While defeat was no surprise, it puts the Scots’ qualification hopes under a harsher light.

Scotland now have five points from a possible 12 and face Moldova at Hampden Park on Saturday before a trip to Austria next Tuesday and they are running out of points to lose.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side, who reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020, have won all four Group F games and look to be cruising to qualification.

Clarke had claimed it was the most disruptive build-up to a match in his time as Scotland boss and through injuries and Covid-19 issues, he had to choose from a depleted squad.

Craig Gordon, the 38-year-old Hearts keeper, was reinstated for his 58th cap while to some surprise, captain Andy Robertson was be deployed as a right wing-back with Kieran Tierney on the other side.

Kenny McLean, who missed Euro 2020 through injury, was back in midfield alongside Norwich team-mate Billy Gilmour with Che Adams leading the line.
Denmark were also without several players including star striker Martin Braithwaite and Kasper Dolberg but it did not affect them as they stormed into an early and commanding lead.

It was all too easy when Wass rose above Tierney at the back post in the 13th minute to head in a searching cross from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Less than two minutes later, there was more finesse when Maehle slipped a second through the legs of Gordon from six yards after working a one-two with Mikkel Damsgaard.

The visitors then struggled to stem a red and white tide.

Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was a spectator as the home side gave Scotland the run-around and in the 32nd minute Gordon had to make a save from Yussuf Poulsen following a free-kick to the back post.

Scotland were happy to hear the half-time whistle and Clarke brought on Dykes for Scott McKenna.

Tierney moved into the back three, Robertson back over to the left and Ryan Fraser dropped to right wing-back.

Three minutes after the restart Gilmour drove wide from 25 yards to five to offer some hope.

However, Denmark’s talent could not be suppressed and just after the hour mark Gordon clutched Thomas Delaney’s 25-yard drive.

Ryan Christie replaced Adams in the 71st minute and soon afterwards McLean set up Callum McGregor but his left-footed shot was easily saved by the under-employed Schmeichel.

Defender Grant Hanley headed a Gilmour cross past the far post before Schmeichel made a fine save down at his right-hand post from Fraser’s shot with the corner coming to nothing.

With four minutes remaining Gordon made a save from Hojbjerg’s close-range header and, as the game eased into added time, midfielder Lewis Ferguson replaced Gilmour to make his Scotland debut but the match was effectively over.

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UEFA have fined England’s Football Association (FA) €30,000 after a laser pointer was shone at Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during what proved to be the deciding moment of their Euro 2020 semi-final.

Television footage showed Schmeichel was targeted by a spectator using a green laser as England captain Harry Kane stepped up for a penalty in extra time to give the home side a 2-1 win in Wednesday’s match at Wembley.

UEFA had opened disciplinary proceedings against England on Thursday. The FA was also charged following disturbance during the national anthems and for the setting off of fireworks.

Fans booed when Denmark’s national anthem was played before kickoff. Jeers were also heard when the German anthem was played at Wembley last week, when England beat Joachim Loew’s side in the round of 16.

England are looking to win their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup and play Italy in the European Championship final at Wembley on Sunday.

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UEFA has charged England after a laser pointer was aimed at Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel in the Euro 2020 semi-final.

The goalkeeper had a laser shone in his face before he saved Harry Kane’s extra-time penalty, although Kane scored the rebound to earn England a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

England have also been charged with “disturbance caused by its supporters during the national anthem” after home fans booed the Denmark national anthem and the lighting of fireworks inside Wembley.

The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.

England came from behind after Mikkel Damsgaard’s free kick gave Denmark the lead.

Simon Kjaer’s own goal levelled for Gareth Southgate’s side and Kane booked England’s first major tournament final for 55 years when he followed up his missed penalty after Raheem Sterling was tripped by Joakim Maehle.

England now play Italy at Wembley on Sunday aiming to win their first major trophy since lifting the World Cup in 1966.

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Harry Kane propelled England to just their second major tournament final as Gareth Southgate’s men secured an extra-time penalty win against Denmark to set-up Sunday’s match against Italy.

Italy lie in wait after a tense, pulsating semi-final under the arch on Wednesday night, when Simon Kjaer’s own goal cancelled out a superb Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick before Kane sealed a 2-1 extra-time win after his penalty was saved.

England made a start as electric as the atmosphere at Wembley, but Damsgaard’s stunning 25-yard free-kick silenced the home support as the 21-year-old continued to shine in place of the sadly absent Christian Eriksen.

It was the first goal England had conceded during an unusually straightforward summer, but they responded well to the setback and Kjaer turned 19-year-old Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own goal under pressure from Raheem Sterling.

Kasper Schmeichel had superbly denied the latter moments earlier and the goalkeeper shone throughout a second half in which the video assistant referee cleared a Christian Norgaard challenge on Kane in the box.

The Denmark goalkeeper continued to impress in extra-time but could not stop England progressing to the final, with Kane slotting home after the Leicester man saved his initial spot-kick after Sterling was judged to have been fouled.

Denmark grew into proceedings, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg seeing a shot saved and Jordan Pickford surviving a lackadaisical moment.

Kasper Hjulmand’s well-drilled side continued to push as Damsgaard bent wide, with Pickford entering England’s record books by breaking World Cup winner Gordon Banks’ long-standing 720-minute record without conceding. He only managed to extend it to 726 minutes.

Luke Shaw fouled Andreas Christensen when a free-kick came over, giving Denmark another chance from a better position.

Damsgaard stood over it and unleashed a thumping 25-yard strike that beat Pickford, sending Denmark’s red wall into raptures in the 30th minute.

England did eventually settle back into a rhythm and Schmeichel spread himself well to stop Sterling turning home a Kane cross from close range.

It was a missed opportunity that the forward helped atone for in the 39th minute.

Saka kept his cool and drove over a cross from the right that Kjaer turned into his own goal under pressure from Sterling.

Harry Maguire saw a goalbound header superbly denied one-handed by Schmeichel in a second half that England were controlling as Denmark began to retreat deeper.

Southgate turned to fan favourite Jack Grealish to change the dynamics and the VAR decided against awarding a penalty after reviewing a clumsy Norgaard challenge on Kane.

England continued to push right into stoppage-time, when Maguire saw another header saved by Schmeichel and Kane’s point-blank effort was blocked by Kjaer.

Grealish stung the palms as the onslaught continued, with fleet-footed Sterling creating havoc for the tiring Danish defenders.

Joakim Maehle was adjudged to have ended Sterling’s mazy run and Makkelie pointed to the spot. There was another ball on the pitch during a phase of play that the VAR reviewed, but the decision stood.

Kane stepped up and Schmeichel saved, only for the ball to land kindly for him six yards out to turn home and spark bedlam in the stands.

Denmark tried desperately to level in the second period but a Martin Braithwaite shot was the biggest threat they managed, with Sterling denied by Schmeichel before the final whistle sent the 60,000-plus crowd wild.

‘Sweet Caroline’ echoed around the ground as England celebrated reaching their first European Championship final.

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Denmark beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in Baku to book their place in the semi-final of Euro 2020.

Thomas Delaney headed Denmark into an early lead and Kasper Dolberg also struck shortly before half-time.

Czech frontman Patrik Schick reduced the deficit with his fifth goal of the tournament in the 49th minute, but it was Denmark who progressed to secure a semi-final spot at Wembley on July 7th.

Kasper Hjulmand’s squad have grown in stature during the tournament, after their horrific start when Christian Eriksen collapsed with a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland in Copenhagen.

Denmark got off to the fast start as Borussia Dortmund midfielder Delaney took full advantage of some slack marking to headed home from a corner after just five minutes.

The Czechs had progressed from England’s group as one of the best third-placed teams and then pulled off a shock victory against 10-man Holland in the last 16.

But Jaroslav Silhavy’s men were unsettled by going behind so early and Mikkel Damsgaard almost celebrated his 21st birthday with a goal when breaking into the penalty area and taking the ball around the goalkeeper, but his effort was cleared off the line.

The Czechs finally threatened at the other end when Petr Sevcik’s shot flew over before Delaney almost added a second after another Denmark break down the right saw his scuffed shot drop wide.

Lukas Masopust found space on the edge of the Denmark box to thread a ball through to Tomas Holes, but goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was out quickly to smother his angled shot.

As the half-hour approached, the Czechs were slowly growing into the match.

A deep free-kick from Sevcik dropped just out of reach of defender Ondrej Celustka’s head as he ghosted in at the far post before a volley from Holes flew straight at Schmeichel.

Denmark, however, doubled their lead shortly before half-time.

Joakim Maehle darted down the left and clipped over a brilliant cross through the penalty area, which was just too far in front of Martin Braithwaite but perfect for Dolberg to score from close range.

Silhavy made two changes for the second half, with Michael Krmencik and Jakub Jankto replacing Holes and Masopust, to inject fresh lift into the team.

Schmeichel parried away a 25-yard effort from Krmencik and then saved Antonin Barak’s effort.

The Czechs’ pressure told, tough, as Schick pulled a goal back in the 49th minute, converting a cross from Vladimir Coufal to take his tournament tally to five.

Denmark coach Hjulmand also opted for a double substitution on the hour, with Dolberg replaced by Yussuf Poulsen and Brentford’s Christian Norgaard coming on for Mikkel Damsgaard.

There was another hold-up in play when West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek needed treatment for a head wound above his ear after accidentally being caught by Poulsen’s boot.

Poulsen’s low, 25-yard shot following a break was saved by Tomas Vaclik, who then beat away a rising drive from the Denmark substitute before sticking out a boot to deny Maehle at the near post.

Denmark saw out six minutes of added time to book their place in the semi-finals.

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Wales bowed out of Euro 2020 as Denmark cruised to a 4-0 last-16 win in Amsterdam.

Kasper Dolberg’s double and late efforts from Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite put the seal on an excellent Denmark display.

Wales’ misery was compounded by the 90th-minute dismissal of substitute Harry Wilson for felling Maehle.

Nice striker Dolberg was only playing because Yussuf Poulsen, scorer of two goals in the competition, had missed out with a hamstring injury.

But the former Ajax player, back in familiar surroundings at the Johan Cruyff Arena, made the most of his opportunity by punishing Wales in each half with ruthless finishes.

Wales had put in the air miles at a tournament which has taken them to Baku, Rome and Amsterdam.

It appeared as if the journey had finally caught up with them as Denmark dominated for long periods and fully deserved their victory.

The build-up to the game had been dominated by the Dutch government banning Wales fans because of coronavirus restrictions.

A small band of Wales supporters did find their way into the stadium, but they were heavily outnumbered by several thousand Denmark fans who had been allowed to make the trip.

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand had also expressed his hope that local Dutch support would rest with his side, particularly as their stricken midfielder Christian Eriksen spent five years of his career at Ajax.

Wales boss Robert Page recalled Ben Davies, Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore from the side beaten 1-0 by Italy in their final group game.

The trio were carrying yellow cards and Page chose not to risk them in Rome as another booking would have ruled them out of the Amsterdam clash.

Wales reverted to a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, while Denmark were forced to make two changes after beating Russia 4-1 in Copenhagen to qualify for the knockout stage.

Wales started well and skipper Gareth Bale was influential in the early stages of an open contest.

Bale was twice off target from 25 yards, his first effort whistling past Kasper Schmeichel’s post, as Wales enjoyed more possession than they had probably envisaged.

Schmeichel also held Daniel James’ deflected effort, but Denmark’s move to a back four with Andreas Christensen pushed forward to curb Aaron Ramsey’s impact moved momentum in their favour.

Denmark forced a series of corners and took a 27th-minute lead when Maehle and Mikkel Damsgaard combined superbly for Dolberg to finish with a superb curling shot.

Dolberg almost doubled Denmark’s lead with a clever flick from close range but Danny Ward blocked with his legs.

Wales’ problems grew as the half drew to a close as Denmark sensed the tie could be put to bed before half-time.

Connor Roberts was forced off through injury and replaced by Neco Williams, while Moore was harshly booked to pick up a one-match suspension.

Ward made another fine stop from Maehle right on half-time but Denmark doubled their lead three minutes after the break, much to Wales’ grievance.

Wales wanted a free-kick after Simon Kjaer appeared to barge into Moore, but play was allowed to continue by German referee Daniel Siebert.

Braithwaite beat Joe Rodon with a neat turn of pace and substitute Williams made a hash of the cross.

The ball fell to Dolberg who lashed home his second and the goal stood after a VAR check adjudged that Braithwaite had kept the ball in play at the start of his run.

Mathias Jensen and Braithwaite both hit the post as Denmark were inches away from ramming home their superiority further.

But Wales were simply out of ideas and Denmark punished them again in the closing stages.

Maehle smashed home a left-footed shot from close range moments before Wilson became the second Wales player to be sent off at Euro 2020.

Braithwaite’s stoppage-time effort then stood after a lengthy VAR check for offside, as Denmark eased into a quarter-final tie against either Holland or the Czech Republic.

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Despair turned to exhilaration for Denmark as they claimed an astonishing 4-1 victory over Russia to scramble into the last 16 of Euro 2020 on a wonderful night in Copenhagen on Monday.

Denmark will face Wales in the Euro 2020 last 16 after clinching second place in Group B.

Needing a victory to have any chance of progression, the Danes took the lead in the 38th minute through a stunning Mikkel Damsgaard strike and Yussuf Poulsen doubled the advantage just before the hour mark as he punished a mistake by Roman Zobnin.

Russia replied with Artem Dzyuba’s 70th-minute penalty before strikes from Andreas Christensen in the 79th minute and Joakim Maehle three minutes later wrapped up victory in front of a delirious crowd at the Parken Stadium.

The result, combined with Belgium’s 2-0 win over Finland, sees Kasper Hjulmand’s Denmark through to take on Wales in Amsterdam on Saturday as Group B runners-up, while Stanislav Cherchesov’s Russia, having started the match lying second in the pool, are out having ended up bottom.

Despair turned to exhilaration for Denmark as they claimed an astonishing 4-1 victory over Russia to scramble into the last 16 of Euro 2020 on a wonderful night in Copenhagen on Monday.

Denmark will face Wales in the Euro 2020 last 16 after clinching second place in Group B.

Needing a victory to have any chance of progression, the Danes took the lead in the 38th minute through a stunning Mikkel Damsgaard strike and Yussuf Poulsen doubled the advantage just before the hour mark as he punished a mistake by Roman Zobnin.

Russia replied with Artem Dzyuba’s 70th-minute penalty before strikes from Andreas Christensen in the 79th minute and Joakim Maehle three minutes later wrapped up victory in front of a delirious crowd at the Parken Stadium.

The result, combined with Belgium’s 2-0 win over Finland, sees Kasper Hjulmand’s Denmark through to take on Wales in Amsterdam on Saturday as Group B runners-up, while Stanislav Cherchesov’s Russia, having started the match lying second in the pool, are out having ended up bottom.

Russia reduced the deficit when Aleksandr Sobolev was fouled by Vestergaard and the resulting spot-kick was struck past Schmeichel by Dzyuba.

But Denmark were soon back on the front foot, and after Matvei Safonov made three saves in quick succession to deny Christensen, Martin Braithwaite and Simon Kjaer, the ball came to Christensen, who cracked it home for 3-1.

Maehle then swiftly added the fourth with a strike from the edge of the box, and made the number 10 – which Eriksen wears on his shirt – with his fingers as he celebrated amid the roar of the Danish fans.

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Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench to fire Belgium into the last 16 with a comeback victory over Denmark on an emotional night in Copenhagen.

Playing for the first time since suffering facial fractures during the Champions League final, the Manchester City playmaker set up Thorgan Hazard’s 55th-minute equaliser and then clinched a 2-1 Group B win with a stunning finish 20 minutes from time.

Five days after midfielder Christian Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest on the same Parken Stadium pitch, Yussuf Poulsen fired the Danes into an early lead as FIFA’s number one-ranked team were outplayed until De Bruyne arrived to light up proceedings.

Kasper Hjulmand’s men could hardly have got off to a better start when they took the lead with less than two minutes gone.

Jason Denayer’s careless pass out of defence was picked off by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and when he fed Poulsen, the striker smashed a low shot across keeper Thibaut Courtois and inside the far post.

Courtois found himself in the thick of action early on, diving at the feet of wing-back Joakim Maehle and then fielding Daniel Wass’ header back across goal inside the opening six minutes with Belgium in uncharacteristic disarray.

Play stopped briefly as the clocked ticked around to 10 – the shirt number worn by Eriksen – as the players of both sides and officials joined the spectators in a moving moment’s applause for the Inter Milan midfielder.

Belgium simply could not force their way into the game as they repeatedly squandered possession to leave Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel untested, and Courtois was relieved to see Eriksen’s replacement Mikkel Damsgaard curl a 35th-minute effort just past the upright.

Roberto Martinez sent on De Bruyne as a half-time substitute in a desperate search for inspiration – he was soon to be followed by Axel Witsel and Eden Hazard – and the move paid dividends within 10 minutes.

Romelu Lukaku ran away from the Danish defence before squaring for De Bruyne, who expertly dummied his way into space before rolling the ball into the path of the fast-arriving Thorgan Hazard to thump into the net.

But it was his sumptuous 70th-minute strike, which flew past the helpless Schmeichel and into the bottom corner, which ultimately won the day and maintained the Red Devils’ perfect start.

Martin Braithwaite might have rescued a point three minutes from time, but saw his header from substitute Andreas Skov Olsen’s cross clip the crossbar and run away to safety.