Barcelona captain addresses Xavi as a coach, Dutch reunion and Atletico Madrid – report

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23: Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona during the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona v Celta de Vigo at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Barcelona Spain.
Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

FC Barcelona currently has many important players within their squad. The Catalan giants are blessed with one of the most stacked squads in Europe, even if it has not reflected on the scoresheet or recent performances.

However, certain players were quite integral to this team but were lost to injury early on. One of such players was undoubtedly Frenkie De Jong. The Dutch midfielder remains one of the most crucial players for Xavi at Barcelona, and his absence was sourly felt by the club.

Since his return to the squad, he has started two games in quick succession. The latest outing against FC Porto saw the Dutchman work his magic and help Barcelona stay in control for good portions of the game.

Now, as the dangerous test of Atletico Madrid looms large, De Jong has given an interview highlighting certain topics, as per SPORT. The Dutch midfielder, aged 26, is asked about the tactical understanding of Xavi as a coach and other major concerns.

Primarily, De Jong was asked about how it is to work under a Barcelona great such as Xavi. As per the Dutchman, the coach remains a great tactical mind and his personal experiences are a great source of knowledge for the players, particularly the midfielders:

“He is a good tactical coach. He was also previously a midfielder himself, so he can point out certain details to help us. He always tends to give good advice whenever we review the images and footage.”

An aspect of the Atletico game that will surely be exciting for De Jong will be the chance to reconnect with National teammate Memphis Depay. The Atletico forward was formerly a Blaugrana himself, and was with De Jong at Barcelona for a short period:

“We always get along well, but when he came to play at Barça we spent a lot of time together. It was a very pleasant moment, and the friendship has really grown. The contact is always good and we call each other regularly.”

Lastly, De Jong was also asked about the prospect of Barcelona facing Atletico. Knowing what’s at stake and how favorably it could shift the tide of the league in any direction, the Barcelona captain remains aware of it:

“(Atletico) have a team with players who are really good, and it will be a difficult game for us.”

In less than twelve hours, Barcelona will welcome Atletico to the Montjuic Stadium. Knowing that their rivals will still have a game in hand following this clash, Barça will need to ensure that they come away with a victory from this difficult encounter.

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