Despite uncertainty, Denmark’s Eriksen sets sights on Qatar 2022


Former Inter Milan footballer had a heart-starter device implanted following his dramatic collapse at Euro 2020 in Copenhagen.

Christian Eriksen intends to return to football to play for Denmark at the 2022 World Cup but his interview with a Danish broadcaster posed many questions, with the player’s future still up in the air.

The Dane recently had his contract terminated by Inter Milan after having a heart-starter device implanted following his dramatic collapse while playing for his country against Finland at Euro 2020 in Copenhagen last June.

Such devices are not permitted in Italy and his career there was effectively ended.

“My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar,” Eriksen said in an interview with Danish Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday.

“Whether I can get selected is something entirely different … but … I can come back.”

His former teammate Daley Blind had a similar device fitted and is playing at Ajax Amsterdam, the Dutch club where the mercurial Eriksen broke through before joining Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and a number of clubs are likely to be in the market for a player of Eriksen’s ability.

However, Eriksen will have to convince any prospective employer that he is fit enough to play.

“That’s really why I feel it’s time to get out and do an interview because I know what I want – I want to play football again.”

‘Green light’

Eriksen looked relaxed as he discussed what the future might hold, and took the opportunity to assure clubs that his heart can be trusted.

“They [the doctors] have said ‘fine’, said it’s good, so everything is stable, which therefore feels like a green light to be able to play football again,” Eriksen said.

His last public gesture was to wave to fans as he was carried from the Parken Stadium pitch on a stretcher, having effectively died, only to be brought back to life.

He has stayed out of public view during his rehabilitation until he felt ready to make a return.

Now without a club for the first time in his glittering career, his future in the game is unclear.

“In the world of football, you can never really decide for yourself where you are going,” he said.

Following his collapse, Denmark’s team doctor said Eriksen’s heart stopped and that “he was gone” before being resuscitated with a defibrillator.

“He was gone; we did cardiac resuscitation, it was a cardiac arrest. We got him back after one defib [defibrillation],” Dr Morten Boesen told a news conference last June.

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