De Jong: Barcelona's Cryuff-influenced style perfect for me
In his first interview with the club's official TV channel, Frenkie de Jong explained why Barcelona is the perfect club for him after his move from Ajax.
Barcelona new signing Frenkie de Jong has given his first interview to the club’s official TV channel after his unveiling at Camp Nou on Friday, in which he revealed his eagerness to win trophies, highlighted the similarities between Barcelona and Ajax, and explained why the Barça style suits him perfectly.
“Barcelona has a great history in midfielders. I think it’s a club who plays the perfect game for a midfielder – to have the ball a lot, to control it, to control the game. So, I think, for me it is the perfect place to fit in,” said the 21-year-old, who joined the club from Ajax for 75 million euros.
De Jong on Cryuff and Ajax-Barcelona bonds
De Jong joins the long list of ex-Ajax players to play for Barcelona and the midfielder will hope to emulate the success of the likes of Johann Cryuff, Frank de Boer, Patrick Kluivert and Marc Overmars at Camp Nou.
The young Dutch international also spoke of the bond between Ajax and Barcelona, citing the influence of Johan Cryuff’s philosophy on both clubs and his preference for the attacking football that he was encouraged to play in Amsterdam.
“I like to play attacking football, to play attractive [football] for the people. I think the people who come to the stadium need to enjoy the game,” said De Jong in the Barça TV interview, which will be aired in full next week.
“I think that's Cruyff's philosophy, as well. I think it's just part of Ajax and Barcelona."
De Jong “can’t wait” to start with Barcelona teammates
And after making the move to Barcelona last week, the Dutch midfielder said he was eager to start training with his new teammates, who have begun preparations ahead of their pre-season fixtures against Chelsea, Andre Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe, Arsenal and Napoli.
“I can’t wait to get started, with the whole team, to play with them, to train with them, to hopefully win a lot of trophies with them. I can’t wait to start with the whole thing,” he said, while also explaining his desire to win the Champions League after helping Ajax last season to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1997.
"I believe that Barça, as much as myself, want to win the Champions League this year. I hope we'll be able to do that.”
He added: "I know that nobody expected Ajax to win the Champions League but the pressure is very high there too. In the Dutch Cup and the league they expect you to win everything and do it by playing attractive football. At Barça, it's the same, but there's also more pressure to win the Champions League. If you're Barça, you have to win all the titles available."