Donny van de Beek Knew That It Wasn't A Coincidence When He Scored In The 34th Minute
In a heartfelt interview following Ajax's remarkable victory against Juventus, Donny van de Beek referenced 'Appie' Nouri's shirt number.
His great friend Abdelhak Nouri played with the No.34 shirt on his back before being forced to retire.
Nouri tragically collapsed during a friendly match which resulted in severe and permanent brain damage.
But he's in the thoughts of Ajax players including his former teammate Van de Beek who scored versus Juventus in the 34th minute - the same number associated with his friend 'Appie', and he knew that it wasn't a coincidence.
"I looked up at the scoreboard after I had scored, saw it was the 34th minute and simply knew that wasn't coincidence. It's something very special. I will never forget this again," he said after his side's 3-2 aggregate win over Juventus.
Donny van de Beek scored in the 34th minute. The shirt number of his close friend Abdelhak Nouri.- Dutch Football (@FootballOranje_) April 16, 2019
He told VI, "The 34th minute. That cannot be a coincidence. Very special, I will never forget that again."
What's more, four ex-Ajax youngsters are all wearing No.34 in tribute.
Philippe Sandler, who spent time with Nouri as a youngster in the Ajax youth academy, asked for No.34 upon signing for Manchester City from PEC Zwolle as he wanted to honour him.
AS Roma's Justin Kluivert, Napoli's Amin Younes and Fiorentina's Kevin Dijks are also paying tribute to their friend by wearing his number for their respective clubs.
The former went a step further by holding up a Roma shirt with 'Nouri 34' on the back when he scored his first Champions League goal for the Italian club at the Stadio Olimpico.
Justin Kluivert has scored his first-ever Champions League goal :raised_hands:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 2, 2018
He celebrated by paying tribute to former Ajax teammate Abdelhak Nouri :heart: pic.twitter.com/3liFmhA1rK
Will Ajax go all the way in the Champions League? Watch this space.