‘Extraordinary’ €70m player aims for many more years at Barcelona

Date:

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona looks on during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Real Betis and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 21, 2024 in Seville, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Although he has been linked with a move away from the club in the last few months, there is no doubt that Frenkie de Jong is a very important player in the FC Barcelona squad.

Having joined the club in 2019, the midfielder has retained his place in the midfield under the various coaches he has had and is also expected to remain an important player for the new coach, Hansi Flick.

Last season, the Dutchman reached the figure of 200 games with the Catalan team, and with 234 official matches, he has become only the sixth Dutch player to reach this figure for Barcelona.

As SPORT has reported, Frenkie appeared in an interview with the Barcelona media and talked about his different memories at the Catalan club. Talking about his career at FC Barcelona in general, the midfielder showed a sense of pride in what he has achieved:

“Everything has happened very quickly because you don’t stop to think about how many matches you have under your belt, but, of course, it’s a source of pride. There is still a long way to go, but I would like to be the Dutch player with the most matches in Barça’s history.”

With his 292 appearances, Cocu remains the Dutch player to have the most appearances with Barcelona, but Frenkie de Jong was driven to take this honor for himself in the coming years:

“Surpassing Cocu would be great. I think I still have a way to go to get there, but of course, I would like to be the first. Almost five years have passed. This is my fifth season at the club. I don’t want to say that this period has been utterly crazy, but many things have happened in these four and a half years so far.”

The 27-year-old midfielder, described as ‘extraordinary’ by Xavi Hernández, also recalled the difficult debut he had with Barcelona:

“I remember that I didn’t start in the best way. We were beaten in the last minute by Aduriz’s overhead kick, which was a great goal, by the way. I think that season we didn’t start the league very well either; we were very inconsistent in the early matches. But it was nice to debut with FC Barcelona.”

De Jong also remembered playing his first El Clasico in the blue and garnet colors:

“When you step onto the Camp Nou for the first time as a Barcelona player, it’s a very special feeling. So are the Clásicos. My first Clásico ended 0-0; it wasn’t very exciting, but I remember it because of the tension in the atmosphere.”

“It was also a time with many demonstrations and protests in the streets. I recall many factors that increased the tension in the Clásico. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win.”

The 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich was clearly the worst night for Frenkie in his entire career:

“I think it was the worst night of my career at Barcelona. Perhaps even in Barça’s history. I haven’t been in all the matches and haven’t experienced it in the same way, but as a player, I went through it differently. It was also the worst match of my career so far. It was hard to sleep during those first nights.”

The midfielder also shared his happiness on being a captain, but ensured that things have not changed much with the armband:

“It’s an honor to be one of Barça’s captains. When I was named, my approach didn’t change much, though doing the same things on the pitch comes with more responsibilities. So I tried to adapt and help people, but my focus remained the same.”

The Dutchman concluded by saying that he “hope[s] to play many more years at Barça.” Hopefully, this will be the case and he will be able to achieve his desire of becoming the Dutch player with the most appearances at Barcelona in the coming years.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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