Qatari Stars League defender who suffered cardiac arrest thanks James Rodriguez for life-saving move

The Qatari Stars League defender who suffered a cardiac arrest last weekend has hailed former Everton star James Rodriguez for performing a life-saving first response move in the incident.

Al-Wakkrah defender Ousmane Coulibaly was playing against James’ Al-Rayyan when he collapsed in front of the goal during the first-half. The Colombian midfielder was seen adjusting the head of the 32-year-old to allow him to be able to breathe before the medical team arrived to continue the treatment.

On Thursday night, Coulibaly posted an image of him in hospital recovering from the life-threatening illness and paid tribute to James for his quick thinking in difficult circumstances.


James Rodriguez (pictured) performed a life-saving move on opponent Ousmane Coulibaly who suffered cardiac arrest during a league match in Qatar

Couliably thanked James for adjusting his head as the first responder which helped him live


Coulibaly captioned the post: ‘On January 9 2022, I suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch just before end of the first-half. Many teams of people helped to revive me straight away after my collapse.

‘Thanks to God and the work of those heroes, I was saved. Thanks to James Rodriguez who made the first move to adjust my head. Also to (Al-Wakkrah team-mate) Saoud Al-Khater who quickly signalled the medical team on.’

In his post, Coulibaly went on to thank the hospital staff that treated him, his Al-Wakkrah team-mates and the clubs, players and officials from the Qatari Stars League who gave him messages of support since his collapse. 

The game was temporarily halted before the severity of the situation led to its eventual abandonment – with the scoreline 1-0 to Al Rayyan at the time of Coulibaly’s collapse. 

The Colombian was playing for Al-Rayyan when Coulibaly collapsed in the goalface

After the match, a statement released by the league confirmed Coulibaly had suffered a cardiac arrest. 

‘During the QNB Stars League match between Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah on Saturday, Ousmane Coulibaly suffered a heart attack which required the intervention of medical and ambulance staff present at the venue,’ a short statement read.

 ‘It may be noted that the player is currently receiving necessary medical care and attention. 

The 32-year-old (pictured) thanked several people in his tribute Instagram post from hospital

‘The Qatar Stars League wishes the player a fast recovery, and we would like to thank the medical staff of both teams, paramedics and doctors for their great efforts during such events.

‘Regarding the status of the match, it was agreed to end it and complete the remaining time later starting with the score when it was stopped (1-0 in favour of Al Rayyan).’ 

The game was rescheduled for Monday and Al-Rayyan won 3-0 – including two goals from James to keep them eighth in the table.