Former Aston Villa star David Ginola has opened up on how CPR saved his life.
Ginola was clinically dead for nine minutes after collapsing suddenly at a charity game in May 2016.
He’d swallowed his tongue, stopped breathing and was only revived after CPR and the use of a defibrillator.
Ginola went on to have a six-hour quadruple bypass operation to clear his blocked arteries.
Doctors were able to resuscitate him after CPR kept his brain functioning.
Ginola was speaking on ITV's This Morning.
The 51-year-old revealed: "I just collapsed, it was a very frightening situation.
"There were no warnings, no alarms, I just collapsed."
"Someone on the football pitch - thank god for that - was able to perform CPR," Ginola added.
"There were 15 people there, but only one or two were able to perform CPR.
"This is when I realised there's something wrong, that out of 15 people, only two were able to do something.
"What they did actually saved my life."
Ginola was partaking in a charity football match in May 2016 and said he "felt no pain" as he suffered a cardiac arrest and fell to the ground.
The former French international was saved by the heroics of his teammate Frederic Mendy and his knowledge of CPR after other players thought he was joking.
Mendy was one of two men on the pitch at the time who knew CPR and saved Ginola from dying.
Ginola played 42 times for Villa between 2000-02, including subs, and scored five goals.
Speaking to radio station Talksport last year, the Frenchman has urged fans to checks to ensure they are not complacent about their health.
He said: “If you 40, 45 or 50 the best advice I can give you is to have a check-up. You always think you are indestructible but life is not like that.
"I had no warning at all. The day that it happened I was feeling so great. It was a beautiful day. You never know, things can happen just like that.
“This is why everyone should have a check up. You can have a great life in the next 20 years as well. Every single one of us must think about the people that love us and for the sake of their thoughts we should do something.
“The surgeons said to me: ‘David, do you know what? Nine out of people die with your problem. It is a miracle so you have to embrace life every day. It’s a massive opportunity that God gives you to have a second chance at your life.’
Ginola said: “I was playing a football game with some of my mates in the south of France. We’d had a lovely lunch and we’d planned to play a very friendly game on a small pitch.
“In the second half of the game I fell on the floor and I was dead. I can’t remember it because it was just sudden.
“My mates told me that I suddenly fell on the floor and I was swallowing my tongue. So they called the ambulance people and they said: ‘Concentrate on the heart.’”
Ginola’s friend, footballer Frederic Mendy, is credited with performing CPR on him until an air ambulance crew were able to treat him with a defibrillator.
He added: “He pumped my chest for nine minutes. So I was dead for nine minutes.
“I was waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The girl shocked me once, twice, three times. She looked at my friends and said: ‘Your friend is dead.’
“It wasn’t that they wanted to give up but she said that after three times most of the time it (the heart) doesn’t go back (restart).
“She tried another fourth and fifth time and on the fifth time they got a beat. My heart, they got a pulse. They took me to Monaco to the heart centre.
"All the nurses told me that they were just amazed by the force within me fighting to live.”
He now insists he has a new lease of life. He went on: “That’s obvious. I wasn’t supposed to be there for my kids. Everything now is about enjoying [life] and taking care of the people I love.”
Gilles Dreyfus, professor of cardiac surgery at the Monaco Heart Centre said at the time that Ginola would be “brain dead’ were it not for the actions of a bystander.
Speaking to the BBC, Prof Dreyfus said: “Fortunately there was one person who had been trained in CPR, because otherwise he would have been brain dead. They then called the emergency services, who arrived eight minutes later with him in cardiac arrest.
“I was speaking to the captain and he was telling me the girl who was in the ambulance only knew where the football field, which isn’t an official one but a private one, was because she had seen it that morning and asked somebody what it was.
“If she hadn’t then most likely she would not have found it within the timeframe to save him.
“They arrived with him in cardiac arrest, he was shocked four times on site. They were able to restore a normal heart rhythm and within 10 minutes a helicopter arrived to transfer him to Monaco Heart Centre.
“I made the decision to transfer him to the operating theatre and he immediately underwent a quadruple heart bypass, which was very straightforward although difficult.
“This morning he woke up perfectly normally with no neurological damage and is now recovering from a bypass like anybody would normally do.
“It was a sequence of events that at every stage went absolutely fine. That is why he is here today. Luckier you can’t be. It’s an unbelievable story.”