UEFA to honour medical team and Kjaer for saving Eriksen’s life

The medical team that saved Christian Eriksen’s life will be the recipients of the 2021 UEFA President’s Award along with Denmark captain Simon Kjaer.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the individuals as “the true heroes of Euro 2020” after rushing to Eriksen’s aid in Denmark’s opening group game against Finland.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field at Parken Stadium on June 12, but is now on the road to recovery after he was resuscitated on the pitch.

UEFA said the accolade is a “mark of homage for their vital contributions”, with Kjaer sharing the honour for his reaction in immediately helping Eriksen as well as for the “exceptional leadership qualities” he displayed.

Recipients of the 2021 UEFA President’s Award:

On-site medical team
Mogens Kreutzfeldt (chief medical officer)
Frederik Flensted (stadium medical manager)
Anders Boesen (pitchside emergency doctor)
Peder Ersgaard (paramedic)

UEFA Venue Medical Officers
Jens Kleinefeld
Valentin Velikov

Danish national medical team
Morten Skjoldager (physio accompanying the team doctor)
Morten Boesen (team doctor)
Simon Kjær (Denmark national team captain)

Eriksen, who returned to Inter for tests to determine whether his career can resume, said: “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 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.”

Ceferin added: “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.

“I would also like to send my very best wishes to Christian Eriksen and his family as he continues his recovery.”

Denmark's medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half time
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Denmark’s medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half-time

Eriksen was resuscitated through the use of the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) technique and a defibrillator before he was stretchered off and taken to hospital.

“We rushed to the field to help [Christian] and to do our job,” said Mogens Kreutzfeldt, chief medical officer for Euro 2020 in Copenhagen.

“We did what we should, what we were taught, what we were trained to do. Everybody knew their role, everybody knew what to do. We were not emotional at the scene. Afterwards, we were, of course, like everybody. We’re very happy and proud of the outcome.”

Denmark's players were visibly distressed after Eriksen collapsed at the Parken Stadium
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Denmark’s players formed a ring around Eriksen while he was being resuscitated

Kjaer put Eriksen in the recovery position, started the initial CPR procedure, and led the Danish players in forming a protective ring around their team-mate while he was being given urgent medical attention, before then comforting Eriksen’s partner.

Denmark then remarkably reached the semi-finals despite losing their opening two group games, and Kjaer said that moment in Copenhagen highlighted the team and nation’s togetherness.

Simon Kjaer
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Simon Kjaer is being honoured for his role in saving Eriksen’s life

“It’s something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” Kjaer said. “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.

“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.”

What is CPR and how did it save Eriksen’s life?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a medical technique which is given to someone who goes into cardiac arrest.

That occurs when the heart encounters an electrical issue and stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain, causing the person to fall out of consciousness and stop breathing.

Medics define this as ‘clinical death’, which is the onset of biological death, although CPR can help re-start the person’s heart functions and save their life.

By administering chest compressions and rescue breaths, the CPR performer helps to pump blood and oxygen around the person’s body, taking over the role of their heart and lungs.

How do you perform CPR?

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First aired in 2018, we explain how to perform CPR with David Ginola, Jamie Carragher and Monday Night Football presenter David Jones

Always seek professional help by calling 999 before starting CPR.

The NHS’s advice to carry out chest compressions is as follows:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) on their chest.
  4. Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  5. Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.

The British Heart Foundation recommends that in an emergency situation it is better to try and perform CPR, even if unsure, rather than to not do anything at all.

Euro round-up: Depay nets first Barca goal in Bilbao draw

La Liga: Depay scores first Barca goal in draw

Memphis Depay scored his first goal for Barcelona to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao, while defender Eric Garcia was shown a straight red card in added time for a last-ditch foul.

Athletic defender Inigo Martinez had given the hosts a deserved lead in the 50th minute by heading home from a corner after his side had dominated the first half and seen a shot cleared off the line at the start of the second.

Barca struggled to cope with Athletic’s intensity but cashed in when their opponents took their foot off the gas and seemed content to defend their lead rather than look for a second goal.

Frenkie de Jong hit the crossbar with a sumptuous chip and moments later Depay levelled in the 75th minute with a thunderous strike from a tight angle, his shot flying beyond the reach of helpless Athletic keeper Julen Agirrezabala.

Garcia was then shown a straight red card on his second outing for Barca when he hauled down Athletic forward Nico Williams on the edge of the area, but the hosts failed to capitalise from the resulting free-kick.

Barca defender Gerard Pique also limped off in the first half for Ronald Koeman’s side.

Fernando Nino’s late goal gave Mallorca a 1-0 win at Alaves, who had defender Ruben Duarte sent off in the second half.

Carlos Soler’s late equaliser from the penalty spot grabbed Valencia a 1-1 draw at Granada, who had a stoppage-time goal from Angel Montoro ruled out for offside by VAR.

It finished 0-0 between Espanyol and Villarreal, a second goalless draw for Unai Emery’s side following their defeat on penalties to Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Serie A: Inter off to winning start

Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring in Inter's win over Genoa
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Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring in Inter’s win over Genoa

Debutant striker Edin Dzeko was on target as Inter Milan got their Serie A title defence off to a flying start, thrashing Genoa 4-0 in their opening match of the season in front of fans in the San Siro on Saturday.

Hakan Calhanoglu, who crossed the divide to sign for Inter from city rivals AC Milan in the summer, took centre stage from the off, setting up Milan Skriniar for his side’s sixth-minute opener, before drilling home a second eight minutes later.

The visitors had a great chance to get back in the contest just before the interval, but Yayah Kallon dragged his effort wide from a good position.

That miss proved costly as Inter, who had two strikes ruled out for offside, the second of which was another fine finish from Calhanoglu, added a third in the 74th minute through substitute Arturo Vidal to make sure of the three points.

To complete the perfect afternoon for Inter, on his 200th Serie A appearance, veteran forward Dzeko, who joined from Roma this summer, headed home a late fourth.

Maurizio Sarri also got off to a winning start at Lazio, but the visitors had to bounce back from an early scare to win 3-1 at newly-promoted Empoli.

The home side took a surprise lead in the fourth minute when Filippo Bandinelli scored, but Sergej Milinkovic-Savic headed in the equaliser just two minutes later.

Empoli threatened to restore their advantage but Bandinelli’s strike came off the post. Instead, it was Lazio who took the lead in the 31st minute when Manuel Lazzari played a one-two with Milinkovic-Savic before placing an angled drive into the bottom left corner.

Lazio extended their lead 10 minutes later as Ciro Immobile converted a penalty after Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario clattered into Francesco Acerbi.

Atalanta also best Torino 2-1. Luis Muriel scored in the sixth minute but Torino looked to have earned a well-deserved point when Andrea Belotti’s effort was deflected in with 11 minutes remaining.

However, substitute Roberto Piccoli, who had only come off the bench in the 83rd minute, snatched a late winner in stoppage time.

Bundesliga: Dortmund beaten by Freiburg

Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates
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Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal

Freiburg rose to second in the Bundesliga table on Saturday thanks to a gritty 2-1 win over a Borussia Dortmund side who dominated possession but failed to convert their chances.

Vincenzo Grifo rocked the visitors early, putting Freiburg ahead with a stunning free-kick in the sixth minute. Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham came closest to an equaliser in the first half, hitting the post with a header from a corner.

Despite Dortmund keeping possession for long spells, they found themselves two down eight minutes into the second half when Roland Sallai slammed the ball home from close range.

Dortmund were thrown a lifeline when midfielder Yannik Keitel steered a low cross past his own keeper in the 59th minute. But the Freiburg rearguard stood firm to repel Erling Haaland and company as they hung on to win.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg went top of the standings by coming back from a goal down to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1, with Lukas Nmecha getting the winner in the 88th minute.

Bochum forward Simon Zoller set up a goal in each half as his side beat Mainz 2-0, and Greuther Furth came back from a goal down to grab a point against 10-man Arminia Bielefeld, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg played out a scoreless draw.

Ligue 1: Lille held by St Etienne

St Etienne defender Saidou Sow scored late on to deny defending champion Lille their first win of the season in a 1-1 draw.

The 19-year-old Sow headed home from a corner in the 84th minute after Burak Yilmaz had put Lille in front in the first half. Saturday’s draw leaves Lille seven points behind Paris Saint-Germain after just three rounds.

Monaco’s poor league start also continued with a 2-0 loss at home to Lens, another team that had been looking for its first win.

Ignatius Ganago and Simon Banza scored in the second half for Lens, with Monaco goalkeeper Alexander Nbel at fault for the opener in the 51st minute.

Ganago easily got past Monaco defender Strahinja Pavlovic and then fired straight at Nbel from a narrow angle. But the German goalkeeper, who is on loan from Bayern Munich, failed to hold onto Ganago’s shot as it squirmed past and inside the near post.

Lens had Cheick Doucour sent off for a bad challenge on Krpin Diatta on the hour mark, but Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin followed him off in the 85th minute for his tackle on Banza.

Great start: Inter hit four in first Serie A match

Serie A: Inter off to winning start

Debutant striker Edin Dzeko was on target as Inter Milan got their Serie A title defence off to a flying start, thrashing Genoa 4-0 in their opening match of the season in front of fans in the San Siro on Saturday.

Hakan Calhanoglu, who crossed the divide to sign for Inter from city rivals AC Milan in the summer, took centre stage from the off, setting up Milan Skriniar for his side’s sixth-minute opener, before drilling home a second eight minutes later.

The visitors had a great chance to get back in the contest just before the interval, but Yayah Kallon dragged his effort wide from a good position.

That miss proved costly as Inter, who had two strikes ruled out for offside, the second of which was another fine finish from Calhanoglu, added a third in the 74th minute through substitute Arturo Vidal to make sure of the three points.

To complete the perfect afternoon for Inter, on his 200th Serie A appearance, veteran forward Dzeko, who joined from Roma this summer, headed home a late fourth.

Bundesliga: Dortmund beaten by Freiburg

Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates
Image:
Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal

Freiburg rose to second in the Bundesliga table on Saturday thanks to a gritty 2-1 win over a Borussia Dortmund side who dominated possession but failed to convert their chances.

Vincenzo Grifo rocked the visitors early, putting Freiburg ahead with a stunning free-kick in the sixth minute. Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham came closest to an equaliser in the first half, hitting the post with a header from a corner.

Despite Dortmund keeping possession for long spells, they found themselves two down eight minutes into the second half when Roland Sallai slammed the ball home from close range.

Dortmund were thrown a lifeline when midfielder Yannik Keitel steered a low cross past his own keeper in the 59th minute. But the Freiburg rearguard stood firm to repel Erling Haaland and company as they hung on to win.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg went top of the standings by coming back from a goal down to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1, with Lukas Nmecha getting the winner in the 88th minute.

Bochum forward Simon Zoller set up a goal in each half as his side beat Mainz 2-0, and Greuther Furth came back from a goal down to grab a point against 10-man Arminia Bielefeld, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg played out a scoreless draw.

Lukaku: Chelsea return was ‘chance of a lifetime’

Romelu Lukaku has written an open letter to Inter Milan fans, thanking them for their support during his two years at the club but insisting he could not turn down the “chance of a lifetime” to rejoin Chelsea.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea this week in a club-record £97.5m transfer, 10 years after he first signed for the club as a teenager from Anderlecht.

The striker struggled to make an impression during his first spell – failing to score in 15 appearances – and moved to Everton in 2014 before joining Inter, via Manchester United.

Lukaku enjoyed two outstanding years at Inter and scored 24 goals in Serie A last season to help them to their first Italian title in 11 years, after which he insisted he would remain at San Siro for the 2021/22 campaign.

However, Lukaku changed his mind and asked Inter to arrange to sell him to Chelsea after it became clear the club wanted to make his return a reality.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Inter originally insisted the 28-year-old was not for sale but ultimately agreed to his departure amid pressure to raise funds this summer.

Addressing the club’s supporters for the first time since leaving, Lukaku wrote on Twitter: “Dear Inter fans. Thank you… Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano.

“Thank you for the unconditional support and love on a daily basis. Thank you for motivating me even more after the first season.

“When I came to Inter I immediately felt that I would do well for this club. The love and reception I first received at Malpensa airport was the start of a beautiful story.

“I made it my mission to never let you down every time I wore the Inter shirt. I gave 100 per cent in every training session and every game so that I could make you proud.

“Our first season ended in the toughest possible way but you guys gave me the strength to continue to keep pushing and we did as a team. That’s why we became champions together.

“I hope you guys understand my decision to move on to Chelsea. It’s the chance of lifetime for me and I think at this time of my career it is a chance that I always dreamed of.

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Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku has the perfect qualities, physique and personality to be a success at Chelsea after rejoining the club from Inter Milan

“One thing is for sure and that is that I will always remain an ‘interista’ because without you I wouldn’t be the player or man I am today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Lukaku – who grew up a Chelsea supporter – is understood to feel he has a point to prove at Stamford Bridge following his underwhelming first spell.

Chelsea also held an interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Tottenham’s Harry Kane this summer, but opted for Lukaku to try to solve the issues that saw seven other sides score more Premier League goals than them last season.

Lukaku can fire Chelsea into Premier League title race

Chelsea are Champions League holders. Boss Thomas Tuchel has had a transformative impact on their style and defensive solidity since joining in January. They showed a steely mentality under the German to edge tight matches in both that run to European glory and to grab a top-four finish in last season’s Premier League.

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Thomas Tuchel is confident Chelsea can build on their exciting Super Cup triumph and feels the arrival of Romelu Lukaku will help the team progress

With real strength in depth to call upon, all the signs are pointing towards a genuine title challenge in 2021/22.

The signing of Romelu Lukaku will surely make that a reality.

Lukaku – 10 years after he first joined Chelsea from Anderlecht – is every inch the world-class finisher they need to get their hands back on the Premier League trophy.

Since failing to impress at Stamford Bridge first time around, the Belgian has been nothing but prolific. He scored 87 goals in 166 games for Everton, and after a last-minute move to Manchester United when a Chelsea return seemed on the cards in 2017, he scored 42 times in 96 appearances for the Old Trafford club.

Chelsea re-sign Lukaku from Inter for club-record £97.5m

Chelsea have re-signed striker Romelu Lukaku for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan.

Lukaku, who initially moved to Stamford Bridge as a 17-year-old from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2011, returns to Chelsea on a five-year deal that sees him become the highest-paid player at the club, earning £200,000 per week after tax.

The fee for Belgium’s record goalscorer surpasses the £75.8m paid for Kai Havertz last summer.

“I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” Lukaku told the club’s website. “It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.

“The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.

“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.

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Take a look back at some of Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

“Since I left Chelsea, it’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”

After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Lukaku became one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, scoring 87 goals in 166 games for Everton between 2014 and 2017, and 42 goals in 96 appearances during his two years at Manchester United before signing for Inter in 2019.

The 28-year-old scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years as the club put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Romelu Lukaku is quite simply one of the world’s best strikers and goalscorers. We are absolutely delighted to be bringing him back to the club he loves, and are excited to be adding his talent to our Champions League-winning squad.

“We are of course looking to build on last season’s success, and Lukaku will play a big role in achieving our targets.”

Chelsea, who were also interested in signing Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, have been in the market to sign a striker following the sale of Olivier Giroud to AC Milan.

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Football Daily’s Zac Djellab says Chelsea have needed a clinical striker and that Lukaku fits the bill

Lukaku asked Inter to agree a transfer with Chelsea, despite publicly saying he would be staying in Milan before Euro 2020.

Inter had initially regarded Lukaku as untouchable this summer, but altered their stance amid pressure to reduce their wage bill.

The lack of available funds at the Italian club saw Antonio Conte walk away from Inter in May. He was replaced with Simone Inzaghi.

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Former Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden says Lukaku’s arrival improves their chances of winning the Premier League ‘massively’

Lukaku feels he has a point to prove at Stamford Bridge having failed to score a goal in 15 appearances during his first spell with the club.

His strained relationship with then-Chelsea head coach Andre Villas-Boas made life difficult for him and he did not get a real opportunity, while Jose Mourinho – in his second spell as Blues boss – sanctioned his sale to Everton, citing the difficulty of promising Lukaku a first-choice striking role.

This time around Lukaku has a Chelsea boss who fully believes in him, with Tuchel, who reckons the Belgian is one of the most complete forwards in world football, having personally asked the club to sign him.

‘A fantastic move on every level’

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez hailed the transfer as a “fantastic” move for Lukaku.

Having made his senior international debut as a 16-year-old in 2010, Lukaku has gone on to score 64 goals in 98 appearances for Belgium, helping them to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

“This is a fantastic move at every level,” Martinez said. “Romelu knows the Premier League inside out.

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Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez says Lukaku’s move to Chelsea from Inter Milan is ‘fantastic’

“He’s had an incredible two seasons. Not many people from the British game have had that level of impact that he had into a very important project. Inter Milan was a team built to try and win Serie A. That’s not easy, with Juventus winning nine titles consecutively, you can see the task.

“Romelu Lukaku became that focal player that a new project is built on. Very consistent, he became a leader on the pitch, and I think that degree of maturity is very evident in his game.

“Chelsea are taking Romelu Lukaku, a player that they know well because he signed for that club 10 years ago, but this is a very, very different player now. Probably at the best moment of his career.”

You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.