Ballon d'Or: Simon Kjaer honoured in beautiful moment at the ceremony

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On the 12th of June 2021, the football world came to a standstill as medics worked frantically to save the life of Christian Eriksen.

The Danish midfield wizard collapsed on the pitch due to a heart issue during a Euro 2020 clash with Finland in Copenhagen.

Fans watched on in horror as medical professionals rushed to the midfielder's side, and worked diligently as they sought to save his life.

The Danish team formed a barrier around Eriksen and the medics to allow them the opportunity to do their work away from the gaze of the cameras surrounding the field.

It was a truly terrifying time for everyone watching around the world and, had it not been for the heroic actions of Simon Kjaer, the outcome simply does not bear thinking about.

Kjaer was the first to attend to his friend and teammate, acting quickly and decisively to put Eriksen in the recovery position before beginning to administer CPR.

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Once the medical professionals arrived seconds later, they took over, but, had it not been for Kjaer's actions, Eriksen would no longer be with us today.

The Danish captain was rightly hailed as a hero in the days and months following and once again received apt adulation at Monday evening's Ballon d'Or award ceremony.

Before the awarding of the big prize on the night, Kjaer was honoured by ceremony host Didier Drogba, and the entire auditorium, for his actions on that harrowing summer day.

"I want to salute a man that really made a difference this year," Drogba began.

"This man is a hero. This is bigger than football, bigger than us. For me it's the highlight of 2021. Simon Kjaer saved the life of his partner, Christian Eriksen."

The audience then broke into a beautiful round of applause for the visibly emotional Kjaer.

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Kjaer would himself go on to finish 18th in the final standings for the Ballon d'Or as Lionel Messi went on to claim a staggering seventh title.

Messi ousted a strong challenge from Robert Lewandowski to claim the biggest individual prize in the game and cement his status as possibly the greatest footballer to have ever lived.

Many felt that, after two years of ridiculous goalscoring antics, Lewandowski had been robbed of the prize but, after guiding Argentina to continental glory and carrying Barcelona on his back, Messi was more than deserving of the prize as well.

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