Denmark's Eriksen sets sights on World Cup return

Eriksen terminated his contract with Inter Milan by mutual consent in December, as Italian league rules bar players with pacemakers.

Medics attend to Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen after he collapsed during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on 12 June 2021. Picture: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

COPENHAGEN - Denmark's Christian Eriksen, who went into cardiac arrest at the European Championships and has since been fitted with a pacemaker, hopes to play in the World Cup in Qatar, he said in a Danish television interview aired Tuesday.

Eriksen terminated his contract with Inter Milan by mutual consent in December, as Italian league rules bar players with pacemakers.

"I want to play football. There's no reason not to do that," Eriksen said in an excerpt released Tuesday of a longer interview to be aired later this week on public broadcaster DR.

"They (the doctors) have said fine. They've said it's 'good'. So everything is stable, and it feels like I've got the green light to play football again."

"My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar" in November-December 2022, he said, adding: "Whether I can get selected is something entirely different ... but ... I can come back."

The former Tottenham player suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark's opening game at Euro 2020 against Finland in Copenhagen on 12 June and had to be resuscitated on the pitch.

Denmark then rode a wave of emotion at the tournament, reaching the semi-finals.

The playmaker spent several days in hospital and had a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat.

He has recently been in training with his boyhood club Odense.

According to the Danish daily B.T, Eriksen mainly focused on physical exercises, but also trained with a ball, although this is not currently with a view to playing for them.

"Christian Eriksen is using the pitch for his rehabilitation" but "he is not training with our team", Odense's communications officer Rasmus Nejstgaard told AFP in mid-December.