Roma's Justin Kluivert and Manchester City's Philippe Sandler both wear the number 34 shirt as a tribute to their old Ajax team mate, Abdelhak Nouri.
The number 34 has a special significance for a number of young players who have emerged from Ajax's youth academy. Since the moment Justin Kluivert, the son of former FC Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert, signed for AS Roma, he has worn the number 34 shirt. As does Manchester City's Philippe Sandler and Napoli winger Amin Younes. The reason? Abdelhak Nouri.
Nouri was one of the most promising players to have made his way through the youth team system at Ajax when in 2017, he suffered a heart attack during a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen which left him permanently brain damaged. Since coming out of a coma last summer, he has needed assistece on a day-to-day basis to help him live his life.
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My brotherfriend #abdelhaknouri my first goal is for you. Always in my prayers and inspiring me to be the best I can be 👏🏾❤️Mio amico fraterno #Abdelhaknouri il mio primo gol è per te. Sei sempre nelle mie preghiere e di ispirazione per essere il meglio che posso essere!! #forzaroma❤️💛
Kluivert dedicates debut striker to Nouri
Nouri, Kluivert and Sandler were team mates. They forged a great friendlship as they made their way up through the youth ranks. As soon as he moved to Italy, Justin Kluivert decided to take up the number 34 shirt - the number his friend Mouri had worn with Ajax and he dedicated his first goal for Roma to him.
"My brother Abdelhak Nouri, my first goal is for you.You are always in my prayers and inspiring me to be the best I can", Kluivert Jr said back in October after hitting his debut goal in the Europa League meeting against Victoria Plzen. On 6 January, Sandler, one of the most exciting central defenders in Europe, made his first team debut with Manchester City in the FA Cup tie against Rotherham and did so wearing the number 34, to show that Nouri will always occupy an important place in his sporting and personal life.