11 February 2022

Christian Eriksen feels ‘100 per cent secure’ ahead of return to action

11 February 2022

Christian Eriksen says he has no anxiety about playing his first match since a cardiac arrest and believes a return to England was perfect after the incident last summer.

The Denmark international has not played a competitive match since June 12, when he collapsed and in his own words was “gone from this world for five minutes” during a Euro 2020 match with Finland.

After being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator days after the incident, Eriksen had to be released by Inter Milan in December due to rules in Italy preventing athletes from competing with an ICD but made a surprise return to the Premier League with Brentford in January.

Christian Eriksen was unveiled at Brentford on Friday (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

Bees boss Thomas Frank revealed on Friday the former Tottenham playmaker will play in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday which could open the door for him to be involved at Arsenal on February 19.

“Of course it is getting closer and closer, I do feel in my head and body that the excitement is coming, the adrenaline is coming more and more towards game time,” Eriksen said at his unveiling press conference at the Brentford Community Stadium.

“No, if there was any anxiety I wouldn’t go back.

“If I wasn’t fully committed and feel like I am trusting of the doctors, trusting of my heart, trusting my ICD in me, then I wouldn’t go back. No, I feel 100 per cent secure to go back.”

Eriksen trained with his team-mates for the first time on Monday but was familiar with several of them who are current Denmark internationals.

The 29-year-old has previously worked with Frank in the Danish age-group teams and yet had no ambitions to return to England before he suffered a cardiac arrest, having spent six-and-a-half years in the UK with Tottenham before a January exit in 2020.

He said: “I want to come in and first of all help the club and help my team-mates to stay in the Premier League.

“I would say before there was no plan to come back to England, that was not on my mind. After the incident it became clearer and clearer the longer it went on that I couldn’t play in Italy because of the ICD I have.

“My mindset then of course changed that if it can’t be Italy, the best option would be England, in the Premier League and being in a London club, also for the family, was the perfect mix.”

After passing the required medical checks, Eriksen was given the green light to play in the Premier League despite having the ICD fitted.

Daley Blind, Eriksen’s former Ajax team-mate who also played for Manchester United, is a notable footballer to still play with a pacemaker and the new Brentford number 21 was eager to follow in his footsteps.

Eriksen wants to emulate former team-mate Daley Blind, who has played on for Ajax with an ICD fitted (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

“First of all I felt from the beginning of this I needed to prove you can play with an ICD and if something that bad has happened, you can be returning to a normal life afterwards,” Eriksen insisted.

“That is more the motivation for me, to show I am capable of that.

“At same time I haven’t forgotten how to play football. My body is still the same and my vision and ability is still the same. Of course it is about kicking on, getting used to my team-mates and falling into the rhythm of the team.”

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