Brentford's new signing Christian Eriksen poses during the presentation. Photograph:( Reuters )
Eriksen joined Brentford in January and is now fitted with a special heart-starting device known as an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen said he is determined to prove that he is the same player as before he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch last year, as he nears a return to action with Premier League side Brentford.
Eriksen was unveiled as a Brentford player on Friday, nearly eight months to the day since he collapsed on the pitch and received life-saving treatment during Denmark's Euro 2020 clash with Finland.
The Dane joined West London side Brentford in January and is now fitted with a special heart-starting device known as an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).
He was forced to terminate his contract with Inter Milan in December because footballers fitted with an ICD are not permitted to play in Serie A, but having been given a chance by Brentford, he is determined to grasp it with both hands.
"Of course I have not forgotten how to play football and my body is still the same and my vision and my ability will still be the same," he told a news conference on Friday. "That has not changed.
"I want to show that I am still the same player as before. My ICD is here for my protection. It is in because, if anything would happen to me, there is no need for a defibrillator because I will have my own. It is really just extra security.
"And that is how I feel. I feel very protected with it. I feel normal. I don't feel it in any annoying way. Only going through the airport, I have to go around instead of going through a scanner."
Coach Thomas Frank also said on Friday that Eriksen is impressing in training, but does not believe he is quite ready to play for Brentford against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Eriksen is not just eager to return to club football.
"My aim is I want to be fit for the World Cup (in December)," Eriksen added. "It is about building up in training and getting some minutes on the pitch under my belt.
"There are a lot of months to go until the World Cup starts, and I will be doing everything I can to make sure I am there."