Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered serious and permanent brain damage after he collapsed during Saturday’s friendly against Werder Bremen.
The 20-year-old young star had “cardiac arrhythmias” – heart rhythm problems, the Eredivisie club confirmed the heartbreaking news on Thursday.
Nouri received CPR on the pitch after collapsing in the 73rd minute of the game before a trauma helicopter arrived and took him to the hospital.
Although Nouri recovered a stable heart rate as Ajax had confirmed on Monday that his heart was functioning normally, doctors were unable to examine his brain until he was brought out of an induced coma, a statement by the club on Thursday confirmed he suffered from serious brain damage.
The statement read: “The diagnosis was made that a lot of [his] brain is not functioning. All this probably occurred due to a lack of oxygen supply.”
According to the Dutch club, he will soon be transferred to a hospital in Amsterdam for further care.
Considering the extent of damage, Abdelhak Nouri eldest brother is pessimistic about his chances of being the same person as before his collapse.
“The doctors are quite confident that he will not recover,” Abderrahim Nouri told AD. “If he were to wake up, he would not be able to think, eat, talk, walk or even recognise people. He would not be able to function normally.
“But we are not giving up, God will decide his fate. Our religion teaches us to accept things and we are praying for his recovery. We think this life is only temporary and the eternal comes after this one, but everybody would have liked to see him score goals first.”
Football stars around the world have all taken to their social media accounts to show support for the young star, who has played 15 league and cup games for Ajax in 2016-17, scoring one goal in a Dutch Cup tie.
The club has cancelled training as well as their annual open day celebration with fans and encouraged players to come in and talk about their feelings on the incident.
Nouri won the Player of the Year award for Jong Ajax, who play in the Jupiler League, last season. He was in the Ajax squad when they lost to Man United in the Europa League final in May.