When Barcelona announced in January they had signed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, the midfielder became the latest in an illustrious pipeline of Dutch imports to the Catalan club.
Since Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff brought Dutch ‘Total Football’ to Barcelona in the 1970s, there has been a steady stream of talent moving south from the Netherlands.
De Jong is proud to join the likes of compatriots Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer and Patrick Kluivert in heading to the Nou Camp, having dreamed of wearing Barca colours.
“I think it’s a bit because of Cruyff,” De Jong told Reuters in Kobe on Friday (July 26) during Barcelona’s pre-season tour of Japan. “He changed the club a bit, of course, I think his influence was really big on Barcelona.”
With his precise passing and energetic press in defence, the 22-year-old appears the perfect midfielder for Barcelona’s unique style.
De Jong has joined established names such as Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic, winners of 12 La Liga titles between them, at the heart of coach Ernesto Valverde’s midfield. De Jong added that the pair had helped him settle in and he looked forward to learning from them.