News Live Scores
Omar Elabdellaoui

Galatasaray's Elabdellaoui returns in 3-2 win over Goztepe – 423 days after being blinded by firework

21:52 GMT 21/02/2022
Omar Elabdellaoui, Galatasaray 2021-22
The full-back made an emotional return to football after suffering from a freak fireworks accident

Galatasary star Omar Elabdellaoui made an emotional return to professional football after finally recovering from a traumatic experience.

The defender was blinded by fireworks in a freak accident on New Year's Eve in 2020, with early reports suggesting his career was over.

However, after numerous operations, the right-back beat the odds and featured in Galatasary's 3-2 win over Goztepe.

What's been said?

Elabdellaoui said to BeIN Sports: "I would like to thank my family, my manager, my children and Fatih Terim for helping me.

"I went through a difficult process. It was a difficult injury. I struggled a lot. I'm back on the field and doing what I love most. It's my dream come true for the second time. It felt like I started football for the second time."

What happened?

Elabdellaoui suffered burns to his face and eyes which resulted in a loss of sight, though he miraculously won it back after 11 operations.

Naturally the process was incredibly long but thanks to treatment in the USA, the Norwegian is now back on the field.

The fireworks that unexpectedly blew up in his face did so prematurely, meaning he was unable to protect himself.

Although he now needs special glasses to protect his eyes, Elabdellaoui has been cleared to play football again.

Further reading