FC Barcelona – La Liga Was looking out for his compatriot
Frenkie de Jong.
Frenkie de Jong has admitted that Ronald Koeman, who was his Netherlands coach at the time, told him to be careful after signing for Barcelona. Koeman, now in charge at the Camp Nou, gave De Jong some tips in particular.
“I spoke to him [on the phone over a year ago] and he was really positive about Barcelona as a club, as well as Barcelona as a city,” De Jong told UEFA. “So, what he told me was almost all positive. He just told me I have to be careful, that I [shouldn’t] go to restaurants too much or eat too much because life is really good in Barcelona and sometimes you can feel like you’re on vacation the whole year. “He just said, ‘Be careful with that and, for the rest, everything is really good.’ At the end of the day, football is the main part.”
He just said, ‘Be careful with that and, for the rest, everything is really good.’ At the end of the day, football is the main part.”
Now that Koeman is the 23-year-old’s coach on a more day-to-day basis, the midfielder is clear that he enjoys working under this style of coach.”I think the communication between us, between the coach and me, is really good, and he tells [me] strictly what he demands from me in this position, and I think everything is really clear,” De Jong noted. “When he’s talking, you are listening to him because he has this authority, this power – I don’t know how to explain it – and, of course, he has a lot of knowledge about football, because I think he understands the game and was a great player before. So, if he tries to teach you something, you’re listening.”
De Jong has been a Barcelona player for almost 18 months now and he admits that while he loves Catalonia, there are some things that he misses about the Netherlands. “Life in Barcelona is really comfortable,” he said. “It’s really good because the climate is really good, better than in the Netherlands. “We have the beach, we have the mountains and people are nice to me. I’m enjoying living in Barcelona a lot. “The thing I miss most about Holland is my family. I like my family and friends close to me. I think that’s the most difficult thing.
Life in Barcelona is really comfortable; it’s really good because the climate is really good, better than in the Netherlands”
“The country itself and Barcelona as a city are amazing; it’s more that family and friends are further away.”In terms of his team-mates at the Camp Nou, De Jong is happy to be playing alongside the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Lionel Messi, even if the former doesn’t seem to have broken into Koeman’s plans just yet.”I think [Pjanic] is a really good player,” De Jong stated. “He’s really comfortable on the ball. I think he sees the play very well, and his shot, his pass, his long pass [are] really good.
“So, I think he’s just a quality player who will bring a lot to our team. I’m really happy that he’s joined us. “When you have Messi in your team, of course you have the best player in the world in your team, so you try to get him into the best positions to make a difference, and I think we need to adapt to him. “When he is receiving the ball in a position where he can make the difference, he will make it for you, always.”