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Football Players With Defibrillators

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Anthony van Loo, Roeselare: The Belgian defender was allowed to continue his career after being fitted with a defibrillator. It shocked his heart back into a normal rhythm after suffering cardiac arrhythmia during a match. He retired in 2018, aged 30, as he felt he could not return to his old performance levels.

Fabrice Muamba, Bolton: Former Arsenal midfielder Muamba’s heart stopped for 78 minutes but eventually made a recovery.

He retired five months later without having returned to football. He did however play 15 minutes in Ian Goodison’s testimonial match

Daniel Engelbrecht, Stuttgarter Kickers: The striker collapsed on the pitch against Erfurt but returned to the professional game aged 24 after 17 months, against numerous doctors’ advice. 

He scored against Wehen Wiesbaden, becoming the first footballer to score with a defibrillator. However, he retired in 2018 to move into coaching when he found out the device had brought him back to life three times.

Daley Blind, Ajax and Holland: Blind was fitted with a pacemaker after complaining of dizziness in a Champions League match against Valencia in December 2019.

He subsequently collapsed in a friendly against Hertha Berlin in August 2020 but has generally enjoyed a safe return to top-level football.

Christian Eriksen, Inter Milan and Denmark: Eriksen collapsed on the pitch at Euro 2020 earlier this summer. Although he has recovered, strict Serie A rules mean he cannot play in Italy and current club Inter Milan must sell him.

He may choose to continue his professional career elsewhere, or retire. 

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