Munich's Thomas M'ller, left, and Mainz's Josuha Guilavogui fight for...

Munich's Thomas M'ller, left, and Mainz's Josuha Guilavogui fight for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and Mainz, at the Allianz Arena stadium, in Munich, Germany, Saturday, March 9, 2024. Guilavogui has thanked referee Patrick Ittrich on Sunday for potentially saving his life in a Bundesliga game after his tongue blocked his airway. Credit: AP/Sven Hoppe

MAINZ, Germany — Mainz player Josuha Guilavogui has thanked referee Patrick Ittrich for potentially saving his life in a Bundesliga game after his tongue had blocked his airway.

Guilavogui received an accidental blow to the head from teammate Anthony Caci’s knee during Saturday’s match at Bayern Munich. The French player lay motionless on the field, seemingly unconscious, before Ittrich arrived and put him in the recovery position, then adjusted his tongue so he could breathe again.

“You just have to act quickly, there’s no praise for it,” Ittrich said afterward.

Guilavogui on Sunday expressed his gratitude.

“Thank you very much for the quick intervention and the help provided, Patrick Ittrich, my teammates and the doctors at Mainz!” the defensive midfielder wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Mainz lost 8-1 and remained in the Bundesliga’s relegation zone.

More soccer news

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.