Barcelona, July 2020
Nou Camp is packed. The presentation of a new player. but not just any player. This kid was hot! Dribble like Messi, velvet precision like Bergkamp. A true talent of the Ajax school. While he gives a little show with the ball the crowd goes wild and yells "Nooooooouri, Nooooooouri".
The alarm goes and I wake up and he doesn't.
Last Saturday Abdelhak Nouri, 21-year-old super talent from Ajax, got hit by heart failure. Twenty one! Just like that. During a match in the heat of the game. Went down, not knowing that the green grass he sat on was the last thing he would ever see and smell...and "SNAP", like that he's gone. I feel goose bumps going all over me. WTF just happened!?
Hours and days pass by when today, 13th of July 2017, the worst case scenario came through: Nouri has suffered serious brain damage and will never think, recognise, eat, speak, walk or play again.
There are days when I laugh less, well then the next day I laugh a little bit more.
But not today, today I cry. In silence, alone. I feel a big lump in my throat. A tear slides down my cheek. What a shit day!
In Amsterdam, we say you are an 'echte' which means something like you are 'real'
This one is for Appie, a true 'echte'
APPIE, ALWAYS AN 'ECHTE'...
APPIE, 21 BUT AN INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG AND OLD...
APPIE, NEW SCHOOL BUT ACTUALLY A TRUE OLD SCHOOL...
APPIE, ONE MORE TIME THAT SMILE...
My sincere sympathy to his family, friends and player and staff of Ajax.