It was one of the defining images of the Euro 2020 tournament, but Simon Kjaer doesn’t want to be known as a hero for helping to save the life of team-mate Christian Eriksen.
The Dane was the nearest player to Eriksen when he collapsed in the first half of Denmark’s opening match against Finland.
Were it not for his quick thinking in stopping his stricken colleague from swallowing his tongue and placing him in the recovery position ready for the medical teams to get to work on reviving him, the situation could’ve been much graver.
Fortunately, Eriksen has made a recovery of sorts, even if his future is still to be mapped out.
“I’m not a hero, I just did what I had to do, without thinking, like anyone else would,” Kjaer said to Corriere dello Sera, cited by the Daily Star.
“Then what happened, happened. I was ready to remain lucid, like all my team-mates. It was a team effort, obviously we would have done the same if he had been an opponent.
“Instinct guided me, and I did what I had to, automatically. It was the first time this happened to me, I hope it’s the last, too.
“That’s all. The only thing that matters is that Christian is fine now. That’s the only important thing. I did it without thinking.”
The entire incident was played out in front of TV cameras, drawing widespread criticism from viewers watching the live transmission feed around the world.