Pitchside

Colombian star’s life saved by quick-thinking team-mates

Pitchside Europe

Mauricio Molina of FC Seoul came out unscathed after a terrifying turn of events in the opening moments of his team's match against Busan I'Park at the weekend.

Barely two minutes into the game, the 33-year-old jumped up to try and meet a cross sent into the box.

But rather than meet the ball, his head came into contact with the head of opposing defender Eung-Jin Kim and the outstretched fists of Busan goalkeeper Gi-Yong Kim.

Molina, who has represented Colombia seven times, fell to the turf, out cold - but rather than panic, the other players on the pitch immediately rushed to his aid.

They quickly noticed that he appeared to be swallowing his tongue, and immediately reached into his mouth to clear his airway even before they were joined by medics sprinting out onto the pitch.

Their quick thinking is a lesson to all footballers at every level: no matter what the circumstances, checking that an unconscious opponent can breathe clearly could literally save their life.

Adding to the awful drama was the fact that Molina's wife, Laura, was in the crowd watching what might have become a devastating tragedy.

Thankfully, however, those recovery efforts were successful - and amazingly, Molina was able to get to his feet and walk to the side of the pitch under his own steam.

He was taken to hospital and will face further tests, but told the world via Twitter that he "feels fine" and is resting at home

Molina posted a picture of himself sitting up after the incident on Instagram, where he also paid an emotional tribute to his wife and two children, Alejo and Mares: "That was the power that made me wake up yesterday, the power of my family... the most powerful force sent by heaven."

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