'I'm going to the World Cup' pledges Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen is aiming to represent his county in this year's World Cup, as the player makes his return to football following last year's cardiac arrest.
The Denmark international collapsed during his side's match against Finland in Copenhagen during the Euros 2020.
He received life-saving treatment on the pitch, while his teammates shielded him from the cameras and fans fell silent around the stadium.
The 29-year-old, who was later fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device, has not played since but is stepping up his training and aiming to represent his country again.
An ICD is a type of pacemaker which shocks the heart to restore rhythm if a person has a cardiac arrest.
"My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar," the former Tottenham playmaker said.
"I want to play. That’s been my mindset all along. It’s a goal, a dream. Whether I’ll be picked is another thing. But it’s my dream to come back.
"I’m sure I can come back because I don’t feel… I don’t feel any different. Physically, I’m back in top shape."
He added: "That’s been my goal and it’s still some time away, so until then I’m just going to play football and prove that I’m back at the same level."
'People write to me six months later with their best wishes'
Asked how important the national team is in this process, he told Danish broadcaster DR1: "Very important. I want to play on the national team in the World Cup. My dream is to rejoin the national team and play at Parken again and prove that it was a one-timer and that it won’t happen again.
"I want to prove I’ve moved on and that I can play on the national team again. Again, it’s up to the manager to assess my level. But my heart is not an obstacle."
Eriksen thanked doctors, team-mates and well-wishers in the interview, with the former Ajax man speaking about how he "died for five minutes" on the pitch.
"It was amazing that so many people felt a need to write or send flowers," the footballer said.
"It had an impact on so many people and they felt a need to let me and my family know. That makes me very happy. At the hospital, they kept saying I’d received more and more flowers.
"It was weird because I didn’t expect people to send flowers because I’d died for five minutes.
"It was quite extraordinary but it was very nice of everyone and it’s been a big help to me to receive all those best wishes. And people still write to me.
"I’ve thanked people I’ve met in person. I’ve thanked the doctors, my team-mates and their families in person."
He added: "All the fans who’ve sent thousands of letters and emails and flowers, or who’ve come up to me on the street both in Italy and Denmark, I thank them all for the support I got from all over the world that helped me through this."
People searching for 'how to perform CPR' spiked after Eriksen's on-field cardiac arrest.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) saw more than a 90% increase in traffic in the days following and its most popular pages were about cardiac arrests, how to perform CPR and defibrillators.