The people who saved Denmark’s Christian Eriksen’s life when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the opening match of Euro 2020 received the UEFA President’s Award on Tuesday, according to the awarding authority.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the nine recipients, who include Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, as “the true heroes of Euro 2020”.
“I have the utmost admiration for the doctors and medical staff for their outstanding reaction and calmness,” said Ceferin. “Attributes which were crucial in Christian’s resuscitation.”
“This year, the President’s Award transcends football. It serves as an important and eternal reminder of just how precious life is and puts everything in our lives into the clearest perspective.”
Eriksen, 29, collapsed towards the end of the first half of Denmark’s opening match against Finland, his life saved by the quick thinking of his teammates and medical staff at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
Kjaer was first to give emergency treatment on the field and then showed “exceptional leadership qualities” as he formed Eriksen’s teammates into a circle around him as the medical team worked to save the player’s life.
“It’s something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” said Kjaer.
“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.”
The other eight recipients are all members of the medical team that came on to assist.
Eriksen, who remained unconscious for several minutes, was saved by a cardiac massage then the electric shock of a defibrillator.
“We did what we should, what we were taught, what we were trained to do,” said Mogens Kreutzfeld, chief medical officer for the Euro in Copenhagen.