If Lionel Messi is Talking, you take it, Frenkie de Jong Says

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Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong says his game has been improving tremendously because he is playing with the best in the world. He stressed that if the talisman of the club, Lionel Messi should give any player advice, the player has to accept the advice because Messi is unarguably the best player in the world for him.

The 23-year-old Netherlands international joined Barcelona before the commencement of the 2019-2020 season from Ajax for a transfer fee worth £65 million. Since he joined the Spanish La Liga giants, he has had the opportunity of playing alongside Lionel Messi in 26 matches and scored 2 goals.

Before the coronavirus pandemic halted football, Frenkie de Jong and the reigning world best footballer of the year have helped the Barcelona team to the top of the La Liga table with 2 points more than their arch-rival Real Madrid with 11 matches left to play.

De Jong’s move to Barcelona in 2019 was a real struggle as some of the best clubs in Europe including Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain, wanted his signature. But he settled for Barcelona after the president of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu travelled to the Netherlands because of him.

While at Ajax, De Jong helped the Netherlands club to win a domestic double and reach the Champions League semi-finals in the 2018-2019 season. He has also played for the Dutch national team 15 times.

“In Ajax and the Dutch squad I’ve had a different role but we’re playing with a double six [two defensive midfielders],” he told BBC radio. “I have to adapt and it’s going OK, but I can improve. I’m at my best when I’m not the most defensive but also not the most attacking [midfielder].

“If Lionel Messi is talking and giving you the advice you take it as he is by far the best player in the world. If he gives advice, you listen. Sometimes he says you have to be deeper or to the side, small things but it makes the difference.”

Frenkie de Jong Reveals why he joined Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong on the field with Lionel Messi
Frenkie de Jong on the field with Lionel Messi

Frenkie de Jong described his move to Barcelona as a dream come true. He revealed how the President of the club came and convince him to join the club, a move he said made his decision easier.

He also revealed that Josep Maria Bartomeu gave him hints about other clubs that wanted to sign him then, and told him that Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola is the greatest manager but if he wants to enjoy his life, he has to play for Barcelona. Hence, he joined the club.

“It was my dream to play for Barcelona,” he said. “They were my favourite club outside of the Netherlands. When they came and showed they were really interested they made the choice easier. In the beginning, I didn’t have the feeling Barcelona really wanted me. But they said you have a good chance of being a starter and it was really easy for me.

“He [Bartomeu] talked about the other clubs and Guardiola and said when he was at Barcelona he was amazing. He said Guardiola was the greatest manager but told me ‘if you want to enjoy the life you want to play in Barcelona’.

“Sometimes when I’m driving to the training ground you see the weather and there are these moments when you think ‘I always wanted this as a kid, it’s a dream’ – I’m really happy.”

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