At 5:19pm, Christian Eriksen was the first Danish player to step out onto the pitch at Parken. His team-mates waited a few seconds in the tunnel to let him have the stage to himself. The stadium in Copenhagen was about to be filled — kids with printed photos of Eriksen on sticks and shirts with his name and number 10 on the back ever-present in the stands.
He clapped towards the fans and they returned the salute, welcoming him back to the national stadium for a friendly against Serbia. Everyone knew what had happened 290 days before at one side of that same pitch during Denmark’s opening match at the European Championship against Finland on June 12.
On the day before the Serbia match, Eriksen had revisited the scene of his collapse for the first time for his national team’s final training session. The warm-up session had been placed in exactly the area where Eriksen had suffered his collapse. When returning to the spot, he just started clapping spontaneously.
That was it. He had confronted his past.