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24 Aug, 2021 18:23

Denmark skipper Kjaer given UEFA award for heroics as Christian Eriksen thanks medical team for ‘saving his life’ at Euro 2020

Denmark skipper Kjaer given UEFA award for heroics as Christian Eriksen thanks medical team for ‘saving his life’ at Euro 2020

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer has been named as the recipient of the UEFA President's Award along with the Danish medical staff for helping to save Christian Eriksen's life after his dramatic on-pitch collapse during Euro 2020.

Inter Milan playmaker Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest shortly before the end of the first half of Denmark's clash with Finland at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen in June. 

Footage of the former Spurs player collapsing unchallenged to the turf was beamed around the globe as the footballing world reacted in collective stunned silence – but it is the quick-thinking of Kjaer and the members of the Denmark medical team which have been credited with saving the 29-year-old's life.

Kjaer was among the first people to respond to the incident on the pitch and was involved in placing Eriksen into the recovery position as well as preventing him from swallowing his tongue.

The entire Denmark squad were also subsequently lauded for forming a protective barrier around Eriksen to shield him from the watchful eye of pitchside photographers and television cameras as medics administered emergency first aid to the player before he was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Speaking just weeks after the terrifying incident, Eriksen has publicly thanked Kjaer and the Danish medical staff for their life-saving intervention.

"I would like to thank Morten [Skjoldager], Morten [Boesen] and the medical team who helped in Parken on 12 June. You did a fantastic job and saved my life.

"Also a big thanks to my friend and captain Simon Kjaer and my teammates in the Danish team for your support, both on 12 June and afterwards.

"Thanks to all the fans who have sent messages to me and my family. It means a lot and has given us strength and support. Thank you."

Kjaer, who plays for Inter Milan's rivals AC Milan, noted the UEFA award and said that Eriksen's collapse is something that will stay with him, and indeed the entire squad, for the rest of their lives.

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"It's something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. The team reacted as a unit… as a team, we made the maximum effort to stick together and try to get through that situation and be as helpful as possible," he said.

"I try to lead the team on and off the pitch, in every aspect of life, as footballers, when we’re together. I think it's one of the biggest privileges I have in my career.

"I’ve known Christian [Eriksen] for many years. He has a great family, he has a lot of friends, a lot of teammates that want the best for him. As long as he’s happy and his family is good, I’m happy."

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