Special bond between Steven Bergwijn and Abdelhouk Nouri as tragic ex-Ajax star’s brother watches him complete transfer
STEVEN BERGWIJN finalised his move to Ajax alongside Abdelhouk Nouri’s brother Mo.
The winger, 24, was close friends with Nouri and grew up playing alongside the former midfielder in Ajax’s academy.
So Bergwijn was devastated when he was informed Nouri had suffered a cardiac arrest while playing which resulted in serious brain damage.
Ajax have admitted that the medical care on the field was not adequate and have acknowledged liability, agreeing to pay out £6.5million to Nouri’s family.
Bergwijn has stayed in contact with the family ever since and regularly chats to Mo, who posed next to Bergwijn as the former Tottenham star held up an Ajax shirt at his unveiling.
The Dutchman has returned to Ajax after leaving aged 13 – he played for the Eredivisie champions for six years and was a team-mate of Nouri’s.
Bergwijn described Nouri as his best friend and said he was like a brother to him – so he was naturally devastated to learn of Nouri’s condition.
Recalling the moment he found out about Nouri, Bergwijn told The Guardian: “My world collapsed.
“When I heard Appie had brain damage, I just can’t describe my feelings.
“At that time I didn’t sleep so much. In the first weeks I was scared to play, scared to go on the pitch because Appie was a young boy and out of nowhere…it was difficult. It’s still difficult.
“I speak to his brother every day but it’s still difficult.”