Abdelhak Nouri, the former Ajax player who collapsed during a match in July 2017, has woken from a coma after nearly three years.
Nouri suffered a cardiac arrhythmia during a pre-season friendly vs Werder Bremen, being revived on the pitch and airlifted to hospital.
However, he was left with brain damage and in a vegetative state, and only now has he woken from a coma – two years and nine months after the tragic incident.
His brother, Abderrahim, said on Dutch television: “He has not been home very long, we take care of him there now.
“I must say that since he is at home it is going much better than before in the hospital.
“He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family.
“He’s no longer in a coma. He’s very bedridden and still very dependent on us.”
Known as Appie, Nouri was born in Amsterdam and came through Ajax’s academy to eventually debut for their first-team.
He had played nine times for Ajax before the incident.
Ajax announced a year after Nouri’s collapse that the on-pitch medical treatment of the player was ‘inadequate’, with the Royal Dutch Football Association’s arbitration panel stating his brain damage was a result of Nouri not being resuscitated quickly enough.
Nouri has had to communicate by raising his eyebrows, and Frenkie de Jong revealed Appie played a key role in his transfer to Barcelona last summer.
“When I sat with him, his mother came in,” said De Jong. “She then asked Appie, ‘Appie, where should Frenkie go? To Barcelona?’
“As soon as she said that, his eyebrow rose. That was a very special moment. ”