Frenkie de Jong spoke out about the differences between playing for Barcelona and the Netherlands after Friday’s 4-1 Nations League win over Belgium.
The midfielder, who has been heavily linked with a move away this summer, played a key role in the win and picked up an assist for the opening goal.
De Jong’s comments after the game are quite telling given his failure to consistently impress for Barca and the speculation surrounding his future.
“I play a lot differently here than I do at Barça,” he said. “I think this suits me much better. I like to be the first player to receive the ball from the defenders.”
Frenkie de Jong’s game by numbers vs. Belgium:
100% take-ons completed (2/2)
100% long ball accuracy (3/3)
100% aerial duels won (3/3)
93 touches (most)
92% pass accuracy
82 passes (most)
4 chances created
2 fouls won
1 tackle made
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 3, 2022
Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal also spoke after the game and singled out De Jong and Steven Bergwijn for praise after the win.
“It is always a collective victory. There are people who can excel in the collective, which is great of course. There are always stars, but in these matches it was again Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn. It was unbelievable how those two played,” he said.
“If everyone does what they are supposed to do, then in every position on the pitch we have one player extra. It also has to do with the opponent – every opponent plays differently. And I adjusted to Belgium too. I adapted my midfield. And my midfield won the game today.”
It’s a pretty historic night for the Netherlands with the win being the team’s first over Belgium since September 1997.