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Fabrice Muamba has admitted he has never got over the incident which saw his heart stop beating for more than an hour after collapsing in an FA Cup quarter final nearly a decade ago.
The former Bolton midfielder was speaking after Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in the first half of Denmark’s Euro 2020 clash with Finland in Copenhagen.
Eriksen was given life-saving medical treatment on the pitch, before being transported to a nearby hospital where tests are ongoing.
Muamba was just 23 when he collapsed against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, miraculously surviving after his heart had stopped beating for 78 agonising minutes.
Now aged 33, Muamba has an idea of how Eriksen will be feeling and admitted that the incident happening where and when it did, may have been the factors that ultimately saved his life.
Christian Eriksen received life-saving treatment on the pitch after collapsing against Finland
(Image: Wolfgang Rattay/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
“If this was going to happen anywhere, it was better for it to happen on a football pitch,” Muamba said in an interview with the Telegraph.
“My experience taught me that. The speed and expertise of the medical staff on the scene rescued me from a cardiac arrest in 2012. As did the skill of all those who rushed me to the London Chest Hospital.
“All I could say when watching the television was ‘please Christian, pull through’.
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“It was such a relief to hear Christian had woken up after a few minutes, and that he was in a stable condition.”
After consulting medical experts, Muamba was forced to retire from the game he loves and nine years on, that’s something he has still struggled to come to terms with.
He continued: “I did want to play again, clearly, but at first you consider the future thinking more about your family than career.
“There was so much more to consider before even thinking about playing again, as much as you want to.
Fabrice Muamba had to retire from football after suffering a cardiac arrest back in 2012
“You speak to all the specialists, gather all the information and think about what is best for your health, your family and the rest of your life.
“I still need check-ups every six months. Really, I don’t think I will ever get over what happened that day. It is always in the back of my mind.
“It is impossible to forget and you need counselling to cope with that.”
Muamba labelled the people that saved him back in 2012 as his ‘Guardian Angels’ and paid tribute to those both inside the Parken Stadium and across the wider footballing world for the support they have offered Eriksen.
“Christian will never forget those people. Nor will he forget the outpouring of his support for him,” Muamba added.
“The whole of football came together for Christian. I am sure Christian was on his former team-mate Harry Kane’s mind going into the Croatia game.
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“It shows the power of football, and the common ground there is between us.”
The Danes would go on to lose their opener after being forced to resume the fixture, but as Muamba rightly concluded, the result on the pitch was the least important aspect of an emotional night in Copenhagen.
“Whatever else happens in this tournament, the best result has already happened if Christian emerges from this healthy.”