Updated: June 13, 2021 6:08:10 pm
What was diminished to an eerie silence at the Telia Parken in Copenhagen on Saturday was embraced with more than 15,000 sighs of relief. The relief of Christian Eriksen, who had collapsed on the pitch in Denmark’s UEFA Euro 2020 group stage opener against Finland, was stable in a hospital. The relief that his teammates had responded to the situation with such life-saving speed. Most of all, it was the man with the armband — Simon Kjaer.
The 32-year-old centre-back was one of the first players to arrive on the scene and appeared to prevent Eriksen from swallowing his tongue.
“The Denmark captain sprinted the length of the pitch and sprung into action: he took Eriksen’s pulse, he made sure that his tongue was not blocking his airway and placed him in an upright position,” reported Marca.
Kjaer then showed a clear presence of mind in a strenuous situation as he led his teammates in forming a protective ring around the Inter Milan midfielder. Thereafter, he escorted Eriksen off the ground along with the medical staff and the rest of his squad, all the while trying to making sure that photographers did not get a picture of the playmaker.
The AC Milan defender was also seen comforting Eriksen’s partner, Sabrina Kvist, who was reduced to tears at the edge of the touchline.
When Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, Kjær was first to help him and summon the medical team to quickly get onto the pitch. After, he guided his teammates to cover Eriksen while he received medical treatment and consoled Eriksen’s wife Sabrina.
Nothing but respect. ❤️🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/GrY8oCXc4D
— 433 (@433) June 12, 2021
We’ve to say thanks again to the medical staff.
We talk a lot about football and ‘stupid’ things here… but they’re HEROES. Today as every single day.
Also, thanks to all Denmark players – and in particular to Simon Kjaer. This is the meaning of TEAM.
Stay strong, Chris ❤️🇩🇰
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 12, 2021
I think we all wonder how we’ll react in a crisis situation… And until it happens, you’ll never really know.
Simon Kjær now knows. Hero. pic.twitter.com/IkBB39qAWH
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) June 12, 2021
Earlier, the Group B match was suspended for around two hours because of the scare but was resumed on the request of the players, after knowing Eriksen was ‘awake’, the match resumed. Joel Pohjanpalo’s 60th-minute goal helped Finland register a 1-0 win.
Speaking after the match, Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand said, “Simon [Kjaer] was deeply, deeply touched. He was in doubt whether he could continue and gave it a shot, but ultimately he couldn’t. I completely understand that.”
“This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates. His condition is stable, and he continues to be hospitalized for further examination,” Danish FA DBU said on Twitter.
“The team and the staff of the national team have received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other after yesterday’s incident. We would like to thank everyone for the heartfelt greetings to Christian Eriksen from fans, players, the royal families from both Denmark and England, international associations, clubs etc.”
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