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Italian graphic artist designs homage to Denmark's Eriksen
Italian artist Salvatore Cosentino of Droma Sport, a company that customizes soccer shoes and creates personal shin guards for professional football players, airbrushes a pair of football boots dedicated to Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, on June 16, 2021 in Aosta, Alps Region, Northwestern Italy. Eriksen suddenly collapsed on the field after suffering cardiac arrest in the 43rd minute of Denmark's Group B game on June 12 against Finland in Copenhagen. Now recovering in hospital, Eriksen has to undergo different examinations. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP.

by Marco Bertorello with Alexandria Sage in Rome



AOSTA (AFP).- A graphic artist in Italy has customised a pair of boots with the Danish flag and Inter Milan's logo for footballer Christian Eriksen, who is recovering after collapsing during a match.

Salvatore Cosentino, 63, customises shoes for players and fans from his workshop in Aosta in Italy's northwest tip and said he felt that a personalised pair dedicated to the Danish midfielder was the right thing to do.

"It's a dedication," Cosentino told AFP. "I'm an Inter fan and it's just something that touched everyone."

Eriksen fell to the ground suddenly during Denmark's match against Finland at Euro 2020 on Saturday and was given CPR on the field as his stunned teammates and fans looked on. He was taken to the hospital, where he was stabilised.

The 29-year-old remains in hospital, but on Twitter Tuesday he thanked his fans, saying he was "fine" but still undergoing tests.

Cosentino -- who has worked for three decades as a graphic artist and also personalises Harley Davidsons -- has been creating customised airbrushed shoes for the last two through a Milan-based company, Droma Sport, which also offers personalised shin guards.

Clients for the shoes, which can set one back a few hundred euros, have included Argentine player Alejandro Gomez and Belgium's Romelu Lukaku. But most requests come from amateurs, who want their favourite team's colours added to the shoes, or sometimes something even more personal.

"The requests are sometimes very strange, but I can't argue. If they want it..." said Cosentino. "Sometimes there are dogs, kids, girlfriends."

On the right boot, the artist has added the red and white Danish flag, with Eriksen's name and number 10 from the national squad on the side, butting into Inter Milan's curved logo.

On the left, Cosentino went further, creating the head of a snake with yellow slit eyes and fangs exposed -- a nod to Inter's traditional serpent symbol and the snake's healing power through its venom.

That choice was a "good omen" for a footballer, Cosentino said, "but above all for the man."


© Agence France-Presse










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