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Eriksen ‘not scared’ of bullies on return to football


London (AFP) – Christian Eriksen said he is not afraid on making a return to the demands of professional football, but believes it could still be a “few weeks” before he makes his Brentford debut.

The Dane joined the Bees on January’s transfer deadline day after leaving Inter Milan by mutual consent in December.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the field at Euro 2020 in June and has had to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted.

ICDs are not permitted in Italian football, but there is no such restriction in England, allowing Eriksen to return to the Premier League after seven years with Tottenham between 2013 and 2020.

“I don’t really have any scared feelings about it, I don’t feel my ICD so if it gets hit I know it is safe enough,” Eriksen told the BBC.

“I am not scared of the challenges ahead and the bullies in the game, no.”

Eriksen was a pivotal member of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side that finished as runners-up in the Premier League in 2016/17 and reached the Champions League final in 2019. 

The 29-year-old joined Inter in January 2020 and after initial problems settling into then-manager Antonio Conte’s system, was a driving force in their charge to a 19th league title last year.

“I feel like me so don’t see a reason why I can’t get back to the same level,” added Eriksen.

“I think it will get more and more obvious the closer it gets to being in a real game – being in a stadium, being in a game, you get all the emotion and adrenaline from that.”

Eriksen’s life was saved by the quick reaction of medics and teammates at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen when he collapsed during Denmark’s first game of the tournament against Finland.

The high-profile incident led to campaigns for more defibrilators to be on hand at sporting facilities from grassroots level through to the professional game.

“I am very lucky and I have told them face to face, I am very happy they did what they did otherwise I would not be here,” said Eriksen.

“For me it was unlucky in a lucky place. I wouldn’t hope anyone to get it, I never thought I would get it myself when it happened but in the place it happened I was lucky with the people around me acting so quickly. I was really grateful the doctors were in that place.”

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