Heroic Soccer Player Saves Rival's Life After On-Field Collision

"It wasn't the first time I have done that. It's something like the fourth time."

Every soccer team needs someone like Francis Kone on its side.

On Saturday, the quick-thinking striker for Czech First League team Slovacko saved the life of an opponent who’d been knocked unconscious during a game.

Instead of waiting for medical staff to arrive on the pitch, he pushed his fingers into the mouth of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who plays for the rival Bohemians 1905 team, to stop him from choking on his tongue.

Berkovec was stretchered off the pitch and treated at hospital. After making a full recovery, he paid heartfelt tribute to Kone via Facebook:

Kone’s heroics were caught on camera and the footage is now going viral, with dozens of Twitter users dubbing him a “hero.”

The Ivory Coast-born Kone, who has played at international level for Togo, appeared to play down the incident at the opposition team’s Dolicek Stadium in Prague.

“It wasn’t the first time I have done that. It’s something like the fourth time. Twice in Africa, once in Thailand,” Sky Sports News reports him telling Czech media after the game, which ended in a 0-0 draw. 

Bohemians manager Miroslav Koubek also expressed his gratitude to Kone, who he said acted “very professionally.”

“As far as I’m concerned, that was more important than the whole game,” he added.