Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has heaped praise on AC Milan defender Simon Kjaer ahead of their Champions League encounter on Wednesday night.
Henderson has told Kjaer he has “the respect and admiration of everyone in football” for the part he played in saving Denmark team-mate Christian Eriksen’s life.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 group stage match for Denmark against Finland.
Kjaer was heroic on the day as he was one of the first players to reach his team-mate and perform first aid as medics rushed to Eriksen’s assistance, working to resuscitate him on the pitch before taking him to hospital where he was fitted with a heart-starting device.
The Inter Milan midfielder has since undergone extensive tests and continues to be monitored. He was able to travel to Italy last month to visit his club’s training ground.
In a series of tweets referring to his programme notes for the Milan game, the Liverpool skipper said: “I’d like to welcome @acmilan’s @simonkjaer1989 to Anfield this evening. He set new standards of leadership during Euro 2020 when Christian Eriksen fell ill.
— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) September 15, 2021
“I can’t even begin to imagine what that experience was like for the Denmark players and I’m hugely relieved that Christian continues to make a recovery, but as a captain I couldn’t help but be impressed by the way Simon conducted himself and led his team.
“I have seen that @UEFA have given Simon and the Denmark medical team the President’s Award, and that is both fitting and deserved.
“But I hope Simon also knows that he has the respect and admiration of everyone in football for what he did that night.”
Premier League referee Anthony Taylor – who was in charge of Denmark’s loss to Finland – insisted that Kjaer and the medics were the “real heroes” during the Eriksen incident.
Taylor, 42, told the PA news agency in August: “I was looking directly at Christian when he fell to the floor. I could see in his face the gravity of the situation.
“I would say, overall, that is the toughest situation I have had to deal with in my career.
“But the real heroes are the medics who treated him and also Simon Kjaer, the Danish captain, who helped him immediately.”