Christian Eriksen has revealed he aims to play for Denmark at this year’s World Cup less than seven months after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Eriksen collapsed during his country’s Euro 2020 match with Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021 and has not played since.
Sportsmail revealed on Monday that the 29-year-old has his sights on a return to training with a European club this month, with Premier League clubs showing an interest.
Christian Eriksen has revealed he wants to play for Denmark at the Qatar World Cup this year
Eriksen suffered the cardiac arrest during Denmark’s clash with Finland at Euro 2020
And speaking for the first time since the events of last summer, Eriksen made clear he expects to return to top-level football.
Asked about his football plans, Eriksen said in an interview with Danish outlet DR: ‘My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar. 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 any different. Physically, I’m back in top shape. 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.’
After live-saving treatment on the field, he was taken to hospital, where he was fitted with an ICD
Asked how important Denmark were in this process, he added: ‘Very important. I want to play for them at the World Cup.
‘My dream is to re-join the national team and play at Parken again and prove that it [cardiac arrest] was a one-timer and that it won’t happen again.
‘I want to prove I have moved on and that I can play for the national team again. Again it’s up to the manager to assess my level. But my heart is not an obstacle.’
Eriksen also said he received an ‘extraordinary’ but ‘weird’ worldwide response in hospital following his cardiac arrest, admitting he did not expect it just because he had ‘died for five minutes’.
He has not played since but insists he still ‘dreams’ of making the national team squad in Qatar
‘It was amazing that so many people felt a need to write or send flowers,’ he added.
‘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.
However, the midfielder admitted any decision remains in the hands of Kasper Hjulmand
‘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.
‘But all the fans who have sent thousands of letters and emails and flowers, or who have come up to me in the street – both in Italy and Denmark – I thank them all for their support I got all over the world that helped me through this.’
In a tweet in which he posted part of the interview, he wrote: ‘It’s been a while. I hope this video explains how I feel towards all the messages, letters, mails, flowers, thoughts and everything else I’ve got! Thank you for all the love.’
Eriksen underwent a series of medical examinations in December, after which he was cleared to pursue his ambition of playing elite football again.
As well as clubs in England, his representatives are in discussions with sides from Denmark and Holland.
Eriksen’s contract with Inter Milan was terminated by mutual consent in December. The Dane was fitted with an internal defibrillator after his cardiac arrest, meaning he is prevented from playing in Serie A by Italian regulations.
The Danish playmaker has been working alone at Swiss club Chiasso in recent weeks as he targets a return to club football.
Eriksen is hoping to join a new club this month after being released by Inter Milan last month
‘It is going really well for Christian,’ the playmaker’s representative Martin Schoots told Sportsmail. ‘He had all the checks just before Christmas and the results were so good that we expect him to be involved in a group training with a team some time later in January.
‘But I would prefer Christian to talk about this himself and he will do so very soon. Christian is very ambitious. Italy is one of the only countries with these regulations.
‘In other countries it is very different. His contract with Inter has been terminated and now we can look forward.’