Defender Elabdellaoui, who also plays for Hull City, was clinically blind after a fireworks accident but has returned to the pitch for Galatasaray after more than a year of absence.
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Norway international defender Omar Elabdellaoui has made an incredible return to top football, more than a year after becoming clinically blind when fireworks exploded in his eye.
The 30-year-old man started his career at City of Manchester and also played with Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson at City of Hullneeded 11 surgeries to save his sight after accident on New Year’s Eve 2020.
There were times when it was unlikely that Elabdellaoui would regain his sight, let alone return to professional football.
However, after a 432-day absence, he returned to Galatasaray’s starting line-up for their Super Lig match at Goztepe, playing the full 90 minutes as Domenec Torrent’s side secured their first win of 2022.
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One of the doctors who saw the defender during his recovery put Elabdellaoui’s vision recovery at only 5-10%, but he was back on Galatasaray’s bench in match against Kayserispor in early February and finally returned on Monday. .
“Because of all the gunpowder my face burned. I think it’s very hard for them to be able to say outright how bad it is,” he explained. Guardians.
“For a moment, I snapped at the doctor to say, ‘Just tell me the truth, tell me how bad it is.” She said: ‘Your left eye doesn’t look too bad but your right eye, we don’t know.’ But the way she said it, I knew it wasn’t okay.”
“It was a miracle, like a dream come true,” said Elabdellaoui, receiving a corneal transplant after months of treatment and rehabilitation.
“You never think to see is a dream – you just take it for granted.”
“I went through a tough process. It was a tough injury. I struggled a lot,” he told beIN SPORTS after the game (via Scored ).
“I’m back on the pitch and doing what I love most. It’s my dream come true for the second time. It feels like the second time I’ve started playing.”
Galatasaray have had a rough time in the league, going six games without a win, but two late goals from former Swansea City striker Bafetembi Gomis helped them win 3-2 on Monday.
Elabdellaoui only joined Galatasaray in the summer of 2020, having returned to Olympiacos after a loan spell with Marco Silva’s Hull during the 2016-17 season.
While he has never featured for Manchester City’s first team, he has played under-23 matches against the likes of Ben Mee and Loris Karius and was benched for a Europa League clash with Juventus.
A number of current and former teammates have paid tribute to Elabdellaoui following his return, including former Man City colleague John Guidetti and fellow Norwegian and England international. Arsenal Midfielder Martin Odegaard.