Frenkie De Jong has revealed how his Ajax teammate Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri inspired him to make the right choice and join Barcelona.
In 2019, De Jong came to visit his close friend Nouri who was in a coma after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia attack on the pitch three years earlier.
“I started to have doubts [about my future],” De Jong told TV show De Wereld Draait Door.
“Then Appie’s mother came in and asked him: ‘Where should Frenkie go?’ She was naming the clubs and said, ‘Should he go to Barcelona?’ And Appie signalled with his eyebrows to agree.
“That was a very touching moment for me and the family.”
It wasn’t the first time Frenkie was relying on Appie when he was unsure about his future. While at Willem II, De Jong faced interest from Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.
“I had decided that I would leave Willem II.” De Jong said. “Then I happened to have a tournament in Greece with the Netherlands U-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.”
As of right now, Nouri is no longer in a coma but he still communicates with his family only through the raising of eyebrows and smiling, according to his brother Abderrahim.