AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Christian Eriksen is back playing a major tournament less than a year and a half after his cardiac arrest at the European Championship.

Eriksen started in his customary playmaker position for Denmark’s opening game at the World Cup on Tuesday against Tunisia in Group D. The game ended in a 0-0 draw with Eriksen producing a dangerous long-distance shot on goal in the second half that Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen had to bat away.

After Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 group game against Finland in June of last year, medics used a defibrillator to restart his heart as a horrified nation — and much of the soccer world — watched on as he lay lifeless on the field at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

“He was gone. And we did cardiac resuscitation. And it was cardiac arrest,” said team doctor Morten Boesen, who led the work in giving Eriksen treatment on the field. “How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib. That’s quite fast.”

Christian Eriksen during the 2022 World Cup
Christian Eriksen during the 2022 World Cup
Christian Eriksen argues with the referee during the 2022 World Cup

Eriksen’s appearance at the World Cup is the latest step of a remarkable comeback that has already seen him return to elite soccer in the Premier League, first with London club Brentford and then Manchester United — showing he is still among the world’s best playmakers.

He made his national team comeback in March, scoring two minutes after coming on as a substitute in a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands. He also netted with a 25-yard shot against Croatia in the Nations League in September.

The draw between Tunisia and Denmark was the second surprise result of the day, after Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina with a 2-1 victory in Group C.

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Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field during the Euro Championships in June 2021.

Tunisia likely deserved more, but an expert save shortly before halftime by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel helped Denmark preserve the draw.

Schmeichel stuck his hand up to deflect a shot from Issam Jebali, who plays his club ball in Denmark for Odense.