Daley Blind has insisted that Christian Eriksen can defy his doubters and play again after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Eriksen spent six days in hospital after collapsing during Denmark's opening Euro 2020 fixture against Finland, having been given emergency on-field CPR when his heart stopped beating.
The Inter star has been discharged after being fitted with an ICD heart-starting device, which his former Ajax team-mate Blind is also required to wear after suffering a similar health scare two years ago.
- Santiago Munoz: Newcastle's new teenage signing out to write his own scripts
- Is Chelsea boss Tuchel the best in-game coach in world football?
- 'Grealish is made for the big stage' - Man City star needs to justify £100m pricetag as Guardiola prepares to run the gauntlet
- 'To hell and back' - Juventus' struggle in Spezia shows Allegri has bigger problems than Ronaldo exit
What's been said?
Blind, who is also currently starring at the European Championship with the Netherlands, has been able to successfully resume his career with the help of the heart monitor, and is backing Eriksen to do the same despite widespread calls for the 29-year-old to retire early.
"The images from Copenhagen – with Christian lying on the grass – had such a big impact on me," said Blind. "Those images were so recognisable to me. It was so real again, this is why it was so emotional for me.
"I had to climb over a big, mental hurdle before I could manage to play the following day for Holland in our first group game. All the emotions came out. I am proud of myself that I managed to play for so long in that game. I did it, but it was hard.
"When this happened to me, the whole world was telling me I was finished as a player, that I would not be able to play again. Look where I am today. This is why I say to everyone, ‘Leave Christian alone!’."
Blind added on his return to playing: "I felt I was ready and I felt comfortable to return once I got the green light from the doctors in the hospital and the medical staff at Ajax.
"There was no reason why I could not play at the top level again. The most important thing is that you have to feel free in your head. I had no fear. I was just incredibly happy that I was allowed to be part of the squad again and to be back in the team.
"Once the doctors tell you that you are okay to play again, you only feel the tension and excitement of playing, not the tension of fear."
What's next for Eriksen?
Eriksen has now reunited with his family at home to continue his recovery, with the Danish Football Union confirming that he has also visited the national team camp to embrace his team-mates and wish them good luck for the rest of the Euros.
No timeframe has been given for a verdict on whether the midfielder will play again, and he will now watch on from the sidelines as his country attempts to qualify for the round of 16.
Denmark lost their first Group B fixture to Finland after the game was restarted and also suffered a defeat to Belgium in their next match, but still have an outside chance of progressing as one of the four best third-placed teams if they can beat Russia by a comfortable scoreline on Monday.