Ajax midfielder Nouri suffers ‘severe brain damage’

David Villa announces retirement at Vissel Kobe

Ajax have confirmed the shocking news that promising midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered “severe and permanent” brain damage.

After collapsing during a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen last week, the 20-year-old was airlifted to a nearby hospital in Austria where he was placed into a coma, as doctors underwent tests on a suspected heart condition.

According to the Eredivisie club, a lack of oxygen to Nouri's brain is what caused the damage, which looks unlikely to improve.

"This the worst possible message. It's terrible. We feel enormously for his parents, siblings and other relatives," Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said in a statement on the club's website.

"Their suffering is impossible to describe. The blow is also being felt at Ajax, though we knew we had to consider this scenario.

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

The Club also posted a message on their official Twitter account, saying: “Ajax are deeply saddened by the news that Appie Nouri has been diagnosed with serious and permanent brain damage.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones in this difficult time.”