Cristiano Ronaldo has sent a compassionate message Abdelhak Nouri, the former Ajax star left with brain damage after suffering cardiac arrest during a pre-season friendly.
The Juventus star sent a video message to wish the former Holland under-19s star, now 22, a happy birthday.
Nouri suffered cardiac arrest during a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in July 2017, leaving him with permanent brain damage.
Ronaldo said: ‘Hi Nouri, I’m Cristiano. Just to wish you a happy birthday.
‘I wish that you recover fast and all the best for you man. Take care. Keep in touch.’
Ronado ended the video by giving a thumbs up and blowing a kiss towards the camera.
Nouri was in a coma for over a year, and his family gave a promising update on his condition, saying: ‘If I compare it with the past, at the moment it’s going well. Much better.’
The Dutchman is now able to communicate using his mouth and eyebrows, and his family refuse to give up hope on him making a full recovery.
In July 2018 Ajax club director Edwin van der Sar suggested ‘inadequate’ treatment exacerbated Nouri’s condition.
The club sought external advice on the incident which suggested a defibrillator should have been used sooner.
‘For a long time we were convinced that Abdelhak had received the best possible care on the field.’
The Dutch club said it had sought an external opinion during the incident and acted accordingly but further investigations showed that a defibrillator should have been used sooner in the treatment.
‘Had this happened, it’s possible that Abdelhak would have come out in a better condition. This isn’t certain, but it’s a possibility,’ the former Manchester United goalkeeper added.
Nouri made 15 Ajax appearances in total before his career came to a premature end.