David Ginola has revealed that he was clinically dead for eight minutes after suffering a massive heart attack during a charity match in May.
The former Tottenham, PSG and Newcastle attacker collapsed in the game, and subsequently swallowed his tongue.
Such was the severity of the collapse, paramedics had to revive the Frenchman with a defibrillator, and Ginola has now revealed the full extent of his near-death experience.
“The players thought I was joking but then my friend said, 'Look at him, he's not okay, he is not fooling around', Ginola told The Sun.
"I swallowed my tongue and my friends fought to get it out of my throat, but my teeth kept clamping down on their fingers.
"Someone called the emergency services and they said, 'Forget the tongue, he is dead, his heart has stopped, you need to concentrate on pumping his chest.'
'"My heart stopped for eight minutes at least. There was no pulse, I was dead. Then the air ambulance arrives and they hooked me up to a defibrillator.
'They sent three electric shocks to my chest and when the third didn't work they started to lose hope."
Ginola has also expressed his gratitude to Frederic Mendy, the Guinea-Bissau international, whom he credits with saving his life.
"It's strange because there were no warnings," Ginola said. 'I don't remember anything but I have been told I was doing flick-overs during the game and scoring goals.
"At one stage, I felt a heavy pain in my groin and my friend said I should stay on the bench but I said, 'No I want to play''.
"I scored a goal and on the way back it was just boom.
"My friend, the footballer Frederic Mendy, did the CPR and it is him I have to thank for being alive because he kept the blood going to my brain."