Abdelhak Nouri

Abdelhak "Appie" Nouri (born 2 April 1997) is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He operated primarily as an attacking midfielder, but could also be deployed as a winger.

Abdelhak Nouri
Personal information
Date of birth (1997-04-02) 2 April 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
2005–2015 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2017 Jong Ajax 45 (11)
2015–2017 Ajax 9 (0)
Total 54 (11)
International career
2012 Netherlands U15 1 (0)
2012–2013 Netherlands U16 2 (0)
2013–2014 Netherlands U17 12 (5)
2014 Netherlands U18 2 (0)
2014–2016 Netherlands U19 19 (9)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

A youth product of Eredivisie club Ajax, Nouri played two years of senior football with its reserve team and the first team. He also represented the Netherlands at various youth levels.

In July 2017, at age 20, during a pre-season friendly match, Nouri collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack, which left him with severe and permanent brain damage and unable to continue his career as a footballer.

Early lifeEdit

Nouri was born in Amsterdam and is of Moroccan descent.[1] He made his name as a footballer largely in his youth, attracting attention from multiple publications as a future star. He was named as one of the best 40 youth players in the world by The Guardian in 2014, before he made his professional debut.[2]

Club careerEdit

Nouri was a youth exponent from the academy at Ajax, and made his professional debut for the reserve side, Jong Ajax, on 13 March 2015, in an Eerste Divisie game against VVV Venlo, replacing Danny Bakker after 78 minutes in a 1–0 loss.[3]

On 21 September 2016, Nouri made his official first-team debut in a KNVB Cup match against Willem II, and scored a goal. His exploits throughout the season for Jong Ajax saw him being gifted the Player of the Season award for the 2016–17 season, as well as promotion to the first team for the 2017–18 season.[4]


Jan Mulder talks about Nouri in a broadcast from De Wereld Draait Door, 9 January 2018 (in Dutch)

On 8 July 2017, Nouri collapsed during a friendly match against Werder Bremen, due to cardiac arrhythmia. He was taken to the hospital by a trauma helicopter, and his condition was announced as stable.[5][6] Five days later, however, Ajax reported that Nouri had suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a direct result of the incident,[7] and was in intensive care. Nouri eventually left intensive care on 25 July 2017, being able to breathe unaided, but will not be able to play football again.[8] In June 2018, Ajax announced an investigation had found that the medical treatment Nouri received on the field was "inadequate",[9] which prompted a lawsuit from Nouri's family against Ajax through the Royal Dutch Football Association's arbitration panel, who stated a failure to resuscitate him with due haste was responsible for causing his brain damage.[10]

By August 2018, Nouri was no longer in a coma and was able to recognise and communicate with members of his family by moving his mouth and eyebrows.[11] By September 2019, Nouri was confirmed to still be in hospital.[12] On 27 March 2020, Nouri's family confirmed he had awoken from his coma and returned home to his family, where he will continue to receive treatment.[13][14] Shortly afterwards, Ajax announced they cancelled Nouri's contract, which was due to automatically renew on 1 July, and that they were in talks with his family about a "future solution" for Nouri.[15] In February 2022, Ajax announced the agreement with Nouri's family included a payment of €7.85 million, that the club would cover all his medical bills, and would retire his number 34 jersey.[16]


Following Nouri's retirement, several tributes were conducted in his honour in and outside football.[17][18] In December 2018, Ajax renamed their "Talent of the Future" award after Nouri,[19] while a number of Nouri's former club and international teammates, including Justin Kluivert, Philippe Sandler, Amin Younes, Donny van de Beek, Kevin Diks, Joël Veltman, Anwar El Ghazi, and Sofyan Amrabat adopted Nouri's shirt number (34) at their new clubs.[17][20][21][22] Ajax's 34th league championship was dedicated to Nouri by the players, who celebrated with his father during the trophy presentation in May 2019.[23][24] On 12 June 2022, a square in Amsterdam Nieuw-West was renamed the "A. Nouri Plein".[25]




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Laatste interview 'Appie' Nouri vanavond op tv". 21 September 2017.
  2. ^ sport, Guardian; Blight, Garry; Blight, Garry. "Next Generation 2014: 40 of the best young talents in world football". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "VVV Venlo vs. Jong Ajax - 13 March 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b AFC Ajax on Twitter
  5. ^ @AFCAjax (8 July 2017). "UPDATE NOURI Er was sprake van hartritmestoornissen. Hij is stabiel, heeft hartslag & wordt in slaap gehouden" (Tweet) (in Dutch) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri collapses during pre-season friendly". BBC Sport. 8 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Ajax midfielder Nouri suffers 'permanent brain damage' ". ITV News. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Update situatie Abdelhak Nouri" (in Dutch). AFC Ajax N.V. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Abdelhak Nouri: Ajax say medical treatment of midfielder was "inadequate"". BBC Sport. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Family holds Ajax responsible for footballer Abdelhak Nouri's brain damage". NL Times. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  11. ^ Sky Sports News (21 August 2018). "Ajax's Nouri awake after year-long coma". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  12. ^ Mazur, Martin (19 September 2019). "Abdelhak Nouri: The Ajax prodigy who suffered permanent brain damage". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  13. ^ Westwood, James (27 March 2020). "Ajax star Nouri improving and watching football after waking from coma". Goal. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Abdelhak Nouri: Ajax player back home with family after 2017 heart attack". BBC Sport. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Ajax cancel contract of player stricken after heart attack". Reuters. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Familie Nouri en Ajax treffen schikking". www.ajax.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  17. ^ a b Varley, Ciaran (6 January 2019). "The touching reason players are wearing the number 34". BBC Three. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Justin Kluivert to adopt Abdelhak Nouri shirt number at Roma". ESPN FC. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  19. ^ Pieters, Janene (8 June 2018). "Ajax renames talent award after Abdelhak Nouri". NL Times. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  20. ^ "El Ghazi's Emotional Reason for Shirt Number Choice". Everton FC. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Donny van de Beek: Man Utd sign Ajax midfielder for £35m". BBC Sport. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Amrabat: 'I chose Viola with my heart'". Football Italia. 11 September 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  23. ^ "Ajax: 100,000 fans turn up to celebrate league and cup double". BBC Sport. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Ajax boss Ten Hag's beautiful dedication after title win". AS.com. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Opening Abdelhak Nouri plein in Nieuw-West". Vrije tijd Amsterdam. 30 May 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  26. ^ "2016/17: United win it for Manchester". UEFA. 30 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Nouri verkozen tot grootste talent". Ajaxshowtime.nl. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2017.

External linksEdit