Abdelhak Nouri

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

Abdelhak Nouri
Personal information
Full name Abdelhak Nouri
Date of birth (1997-04-02) 2 April 1997 (age 24)
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)
National team
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)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

A youth product of Eredivisie club Ajax, he 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] 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]

As of August 2018, Nouri was no longer in a coma and is said to be able to recognise and communicate with members of his family by moving his mouth and eyebrows.[11] In September 2019 Nouri remained in a hospital bed.[12] On 27 March 2020, Nouri's family confirmed that he had awoken from his coma, returned home to his family, and that they were caring for him.[13][14] Shortly afterwards, Ajax announced they had 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]


Following Nouri's retirement, several tributes were conducted in his honour by Ajax and players at other clubs.[16][17] In December 2018, Ajax renamed their "Talent of the Future" award for Nouri,[18] while a number of Nouri's former Ajax and Dutch teammates, including Justin Kluivert, Philippe Sandler, Amin Younes, Kevin Diks, Joël Veltman, Donny van de Beek[19] and Sofyan Amrabat[20] have adopted Nouri's shirt number (34) at their new clubs.[16] The club's 34th league championship was dedicated to Nouri by the players, who celebrated with his father during the trophy presentation on 16 May 2019.[21][22]





See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Laatste interview 'Appie' Nouri vanavond op tv".
  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. ^ AFC Ajax on 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. ^ "Abdelhak Nouri: The Ajax prodigy who suffered permanent brain damage". BBC. 19 September 2019.
  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. ^ a b Varley, Ciaran (6 January 2019). "The touching reason players are wearing the number 34". BBC Three. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Justin Kluivert to adopt Abdelhak Nouri shirt number at Roma". ESPN FC. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  18. ^ Pieters, Janene (8 June 2018). "Ajax renames talent award after Abdelhak Nouri". NL Times. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Donny van de Beek: Man Utd sign Ajax midfielder for £35m". BBC Sport. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Amrabat: 'I chose Viola with my heart'". Footbal Italia. 11 September 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Ajax: 100,000 fans turn up to celebrate league and cup double". BBC Sport. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Ajax boss Ten Hag's beautiful dedication after title win". AS.com. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  23. ^ "2016/17: United win it for Manchester". UEFA. 30 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Nouri verkozen tot grootste talent". Ajaxshowtime.nl. Retrieved 23 August 2017.


External linksEdit