In these dark times, some positive news has arrived, former Ajax wonderkid Abdelhak Nouri is finally out of his coma.
The youngster suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing due to cardiac arrest in Ajax’s friendly against Werder Breman 3 years ago and had been in a coma until a week ago. This positive news is courtesy of Al Jazeera.
His accident triggered a wave of tributes from global superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo who sent him a “Happy Birthday” message to former Ajax teammates Justin Kluivert, Amin Younes, Kevin Diks and Phillipe Sandler adopting Nouri shirt number of 34 at their new clubs respectively.
Abdelhak Nouri was part of the Ajax generation that reached the Champions League semi-finals last season. Alongside Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, he was part of the latest batch of Ajax youngsters off the De Toekomst conveyer belt and was regarded highly by Ajax who believed with his technical ability, that he was the “new Messi”.
In his debut season, he was involved in 16 matches for Ajax whilst he was still a teenager. Before he had played a first-team match was named as one of the best forty youth players by The Guardian.
Clearly, Nouri had talent and its one of football’s “what if?” questions. Had he not suffered that cardiac arrest on that fateful match against Werder Breman, whether his career would’ve taken off just like his fellow compatriots Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong. That is a question that will forever plague those that knew Abdelhek Nouri.
Whilst Nouri is out of his coma, to say that he is completely returned to his original state would be far-fetched. His physical capacity is still highly limited and Ajax’s decision to cancel his contract means that it’ll be highly unlikely we’ll ever see Nouri reach the heights that were predicted for him.
But in troubling times like these, his story of recovery is a shiny beacon and proof that things will eventually get better.