Fabrice Muamba accepts his future
Fabrice Muamba says he has come to terms with the fact that he will never play professional soccer again.
Muamba earned plaudits from leading figures within the game for his determination to return to action following an on-pitch cardiac arrest in Bolton's FA Cup tie at Tottenham in March.
The 24-year-old had a pacemaker fitted to help ease the pressure on his heart, but he retired in August upon doctors' advice.
Muamba admits quitting the game was hard, but the former Bolton man, who has gained huge notoriety since his collapse, concedes he has accepted the fact that he will never kick a ball in anger again.
"I've already adjusted myself to the idea that I'm never going to be able to kick a ball again but life brings different challenges," Muamba told Football Focus. "When I first came to the country football was the only thing I ever knew. I'm sure I'm not the only professional who won't be playing football for a very long time who has to adjust in their life after football.
"You just have be able to make sure you enjoy the game but you also have to able to accept the fact your time is up and move forward to a different direction."
Muamba, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo but represented England's Under-21 side 33 times, spent a month in London's Chest Hospital after being rushed there immediately after collapsing on the turf off the ball at Spurs' north London home.
The pacemaker, and the treatment he received at the hospital, have enabled him to make a good recovery.
"I still have a bit of damage on my left ventricle but I'm getting better every single day," Muamba said.
"The pacemaker now and again kicks in just to make sure the heart rate for me is normal and hopefully it gets better every single day."
Since he retired Muamba has flown across the world in his attempt to publicise heart problems in young men.
He has also got married and has written an autobiography, which is out next week.
His collapse caused an outpouring of sympathy from leading figures within the game and he is grateful for all the support he has received since that day in March.
"I'm just grateful for all the professional people that have come up against me have supported me," Muamba said.
"It just shows when football gets together you can produce this sort of response."