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Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered “serious and permanent brain damage,” according to a statement released by the club. Nourie had collapsed during Ajax’s pre-season friendly against German club Werder Bremen. He required emergency treatment from paramedics on the field and had to be airlifted from the field.
Ajax said that the player suffered cardiac arrhythmias or racing heart condition. The club further stated that tests had shown his heart functioning normally and his brain activity did not show any anomalies. The condition was something that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was diagnosed with in his teens. The condition is characterised by irregular heart beats.
It is reported that Nourie had regained a regular heart beat when he was put under an induced coma. Later, many parts of the 20-year-old’s brain was found to be not functioning due to it presumably not receiving enough oxygen supply.
Former Ajax goalkeeper and current chief executive Edwin Vab der Sar said that it was “the worst possible message.” Nourie is regarded as a promising talent and had made 15 appearances with Ajax senior side last season. He had scored on his senior debut and also made three appearances in the Europa League.
“The blow is also hard for Ajax, although we knew we might have to consider this scenario. These have been uncertain days, and lots of people in different way have sympathised with his situation. That is greatly appreciated,” said Van Der Sar, “Abdelhak has such great talent, unfortunately, we will never know how far his star would have reached if this had not happened to him.”