Luuk de Jong fondly remembers his time at Barcelona


GRANADA, SPAIN - JANUARY 08: Luuk de Jong of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the La Liga Santader match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes in Granada, Spain.
Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have seen several players come to the club and etch their names not only in the history books but also in the hearts of the Catalan club’s fans. Similarly, there have been other players who came to the club with high hopes and dreams but quickly faded away for several reasons.

There were still other players who did not rouse a lot of expectations in the fanbase with their arrival, but were able to play a meaningful and practical role in the specific circumstances in which they played at the Catalan club.

One such player who falls in this latter category was the Dutch forward, Luuk de Jong, who was signed by Joan Laporta in the first year of his second stint in the Barcelona presidency on Ronald Koeman’s insistence after the departure of Lionel Messi.

While he clearly was not a player who could have replaced the Argentine in any way, he still played a pragmatic role both under Koeman and Xavi. Still, he remembers his time at Barcelona fondly, which is clear from his comments that he made in an interview which has been reported by SPORT:

“That was very strange. Of course, I wasn’t hired as his direct replacement. No one can replace that man. I arrived there as a target. But I was actually sitting in his place in the locker room, in his locker. That was fine.”

The now-PSV Eindhoven forward also remembered the love that he received from the Culers after he decided to stay at Barcelona even after the departure of Ronald Koeman, who had brought him to the Catalan club:

“After that, I scored some important goals, mostly with my head. At one point, they were chanting my name at Camp Nou in every corner or free kick. You wouldn’t think there’s anything better than that. I’m very proud of that.”

During this interview, the forward was also reminded that he had been named in a list of the worst 100 players to play in the Premier League by Daily Mail. However, the Dutchman found it hard to believe and justified his time in England with Newcastle United:

“Really? When I only played 12 games and not all of them from the start? And not even in my position? Well, that’s the football world, you know? I was young. I think now I’m better equipped to face Premier League defenders. It’s about your response to adversity: that makes the difference.”

No one can argue against the fact that Luuk De Jong came in handy for Xavi at several times during the latter’s first season at Barcelona. However, his style did not really fit with Xavi’s philosophy, and things have seemingly turned out for the best for both parties as he is now shining with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

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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