Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp commemorated Simon Kjaer ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Milan, saluting the defender for his composure and mankind in reaction to Christian Eriksen collapsing at Euro 2020.
Eriksen collapsed throughout Denmark’s European Championship opener versus Finland in June, with Kjaer the first on the scene to put his team-mate in the healing position before leading the remainder of the team in the development of a protective shield around the Inter man as he got treatment.
The 29-year-old midfielder was subsequently taken to hospital and it was later confirmed he had actually suffered a heart attack on the pitch, however medics were able to resuscitate him.
Eriksen was fitted with a pacemaker before returning home, though it stays unclear if he will ever play once again.
Kjaer got prevalent appreciation for his quick-thinking at such an important point, with he and the 8 medics involved hailed the “true heroes of Euro 2020” and presented with the 2021 UEFA President’s Award by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin last month.
Kjaer is anticipated to be in the Milan team that will play the club’s first Champions League match in seven-and-a-half years at Anfield, and Klopp hopes Liverpool fans identify the defender’s exploits.
“I am generally more eager to focus on my own players instead of a challenger, however tonight I must make an exception,” Klopp wrote in his program notes.
“This night it is possible that Simon Kjaer will line up versus us and this is an individual who I think has the regard of the whole football and sporting world.
“You acknowledge real management in a crisis. I believe the world acknowledges this now more than ever with whatever that goes on around us.
“Like countless others, I was rocked by the scenes that unfolded at the European Championship in the summer when Christian Eriksen fell ill during Denmark’s opening group game.
“There were many heroes that night, not least of all the remarkable doctor for the Danish nationwide team, in the stadium and subsequently at the hospital. But Simon shone that terrible day for his own conduct.
“The image of the Danish players shielding their team-mate as he was cared for will, in my viewpoint, forever be among the most iconic in sporting history. It revealed the very best of mankind. Empathy, care and love for their pal.
“Honestly, I have no idea how he handled to not only keep his own composure in that circumstance, but to have the clarity of mind to make the decisions he carried out in that moment. His conduct humbles us all.
“I’m informed that Simon’s papa is an LFC fan– and if that holds true, he must be breaking with pride that his kid is now acknowledged worldwide as the embodiment of our anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
“I know our supporters are well-informed and generous of spirit and therefore I make sure Simon will feel the thankfulness of the home crowd tonight, but for the 90-plus minutes of the game he is once again the challenger.”
Finally together once again under the lights … for another huge Anfield European night pic.twitter.com/55xtNVfST0
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 15, 2021
Wednesday’s contest will be Liverpool’s first Champions League match in front of a home crowd since March 11, 2020, when the Reds lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid after extra-time and were disposed out of the competition at the last-16 phase.
Klopp feels Liverpool were constantly doing not have something in the lack of advocates through the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but in his viewpoint that was constantly exhibited throughout Champions League video games.
“It will be so cool just before kick-off to hear that Champions League anthem and see the players lined up in front of a full Anfield,” he continued. “We missed fans for every second of every game during the pandemic, but I need to admit it was most severe on the European nights.
“Let’s have all the sound, all the colour, all the favorable energy and all the passion and intensity that is our trademark. Let’s give this fixture the phase it deserves. I honestly can not wait.”
Wednesday’s match will be the very first meeting between the two historic clubs that is not a European final, with their only prior clashes being in the Champions League deciders in 2005 and 2007, winning as soon as each.