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Possible return to the pitch, hopes Muamba

HOPEFUL: Muamba wants to play again

HIS HEART stopped for all of 78 minutes last March, it is a miracle Fabrice Muamba is still alive. The player’s remarkable recovery from suffering cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton in the FA Cup against Tottenham at White Hart Lane is testament to his strength of character, and now, despite having to retire in August, the 24-year-old retains belief that he could kick a football again in a professional capacity.

Muamba, who made the decision to quit the game based on medical advice, told BBC Radio Manchester of his hope to make a comeback.

“Maybe in two years, if I go for a check-up and my heart rhythm comes back to normality, we'll see if anyone wants to take me on,” said the ex-Arsenal player.

“I really don't know [if a comeback is realistic]. It all depends on my heart rhythm and how it heals.

“If it comes back to normality, we'll see what the specialist says regarding me playing again. But at this present moment, I just have to take it easy and spend time with my family.”

The DR Congo-born midfielder collapsed on the pitch March 17, both Spurs and Bolton fans, players and coaching stuff looked on in horror as medics rushed to the scene attempting to restart Muamba’s failing heart. The world of football came together in a show of support for the player who had 33 caps for England U-21s.

Looking back on the incident where his life hung in the balance, Muamba said: “On the day, I was fine. There was no heart problem, no irregular heartbeat - there was nothing like that at all. I was in the right condition and I was looking forward to playing the game.

TRAUMATIC: Medics attend Muamba as his heart goes into cardiac arrest

“Just before the incident, I felt kind of dizzy and couldn't concentrate. My mind went into a different mode and, all of a sudden, I lost control. My heart just stopped and I fell down.

“I wasn't aware of anything at all. It wasn't until I woke up on the Monday or Tuesday that I understood what was going on. I was very shocked because I wasn't expecting to be in hospital.”

Upon reflection, the former Birmingham City player who made 79 appearances for the Midlands club, knows he is more than lucky to be alive, especially considering there have been other footballers who have suffered exactly what he did and were unable to wake up again. One such player was Italian Piermario Morosini, a Livorno midfielder, who died in April during a match.

“I couldn't believe that could happen to me, but then when it happened to Morosini in Italy, that's when I realised how big an issue it was.

“He didn't survive and I survived. I just have to be grateful for the life that I've got now”, added Muamba.

Nevertheless, the ex-pro takes satisfaction he was able to play the sport at the highest level even though his career is seemingly over.

“I've lived most people's dream by playing football.

“I've played in the Premier League and the Championship. I've played for the national team from Under-16 to Under-21, I played at the Under-21 Championship twice and I played in the FA Cup semi-final”, continued Muamba.

“I'm grateful for it all. I can hold my hand up and say I tried my best.”

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