20-Year-Old Footballer Who Collapsed During Game Has Suffered Permanent Brain Damage

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Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered ‘serious and permanent brain damage’ after collapsing during a match at the weekend.

Nouri had heart rhythm problems during the game against Werder Bremen, on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the club said tests showed the 20-year-old’s heart was ‘functioning normally’ and brain scans did not detect ‘any anomalies’ – but new tests have shown the extent of the damage.

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The club statement said the chances of recovery from the damage is ‘nil’.  It reads:

The diagnosis was made that a lot of [his] brain is not functioning. All this probably occurred due to a lack of oxygen supply.

Nouri was airlifted to hospital in Austria – where the match was being played.

Former Manchester United keeper, Edwin van der Sar, who is now CEO at Ajax, has spoken out in a BBC Sport article.

He said:

This is the worst possible message. It is terrible. We feel enormously for his parents, siblings and other relatives.

The blow is also difficult for Ajax, though we knew we had to consider this scenario. They were uncertain days, lots of people in different ways have sympathised with his situation and is greatly appreciated.

Abdelhak is such a great talent, but unfortunately we will never know how far his star would have reached had this not happened.

Nouri, who is Dutch-born, played 15 league and cup games for Ajax in 2016-17, scoring one goal in a Dutch Cup tie.

Players have been sending their thoughts and prayers via social media:

Such sad news.