Frenkie De Jong shares incredible story of Abdelhak Nouri inspiring his Barcelona move

Yesterday the sporting world was greeted with the incredible news that Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri is able to communicate again after waking from a coma.

The 22-year-old sustained severe and permanent brain damage after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia attack in a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in July 2017.

Nouri’s brother confirmed that he is now recovering in a house built especially for him.

His brother Abderrahim told Dutch TV show ‘The World Keeps Turning’: “It’s going well with Appie, but what is good? He’s awake, he sleeps, he eats, he burps but he doesn’t get out of bed.

“In good moments there is a form of communication where he moves his eyebrows but he can’t keep it up for long.

“Appie is aware of where he is. It’s good for him to be in a familiar environment with his family.

“We talk to him and watch football with him – he likes that. Sometimes it gets very emotional but often there’s a smile. That’s good for us.”

Frenkie De Jong, who played alongside Nouri for several years at Ajax, also appeared on the show – he shared an incredible story of how his teammate inspired his move to Barcelona, despite his condition.

“[In 2019], I started to have doubts.” De Jong said.

“Then Appie’s mother came in and asked him: ‘Where should Frenkie go?’ She named the clubs and said, ‘Should he go to Barcelona?’ Then Appie signalled with his eyebrows to agree. That was a very nice moment for me and the family.”

De Jong also spoke about the influence Nouri had on him joining Ajax as a youngster.

“I had decided that I would leave Willem II.” De Jong continued.

“Then I happened to have a tournament in Greece with the Under-19’s. Appie said to me: ‘No, you have to come to Ajax. Then we can all play there. What are you going to do at PSV? Just come to Ajax.’ He talked to me a lot.”

Featured image credit: Getty