Christian Eriksen: Brentford midfielder’s touching Tottenham reunion
Christian Eriksen’s return to football has been one of the feel-good stories of the season and he was once again the subject of an outpouring of emotion on Saturday as he faced his former club Tottenham for the first time.
The 30-year-old, who spent six-and-a-half years at the north London club and helped them reach the Champions League final in 2019, was given a rapturous reception from all four sides of the ground before, during and after the game at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Before kick-off he embraced some of his former team-mates in the tunnel, including striker Harry Kane and defender Eric Dier.
When he went to take an early Brentford corner in front of the away fans, there were no jeers or whistles, only cheers, applause and a standing ovation.
At full-time there were more hugs, this time from the likes Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Davinson Sanchez.
Eriksen took time to sign a Tottenham fan’s shirt which had his name on the back, before receiving more applause from the home supporters as he made his way towards the tunnel.
“It’s emotional to play against him. It’s strange to play against him,” Dier told Sky Sports. “I’ve spent most of my professional career playing with him. I never imagined playing against him under these circumstances.
“I don’t care if he’s playing against us, I’m just happy he’s healthy. I’m really happy for him and his family.”
Eriksen did not always see eye to eye with Antonio Conte during their time together at Inter Milan, but the Spurs boss was effusive in his praise for the midfielder, who suffered cardiac arrest during Euro 2020 just 10 months ago.
“I have seen Christian in fantastic form. We are talking about a really good player, great quality,” Conte told BBC Match of the Day.
“I am pleased to see him, especially after what happened [at the Euros]. Brentford gave him a possibility to play again and for this reason Brentford deserve to enjoy this type of game with him.”