Tuesday, January 22, 2019

De Jong: I will never be Johan Cruyff

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 25 Nov 2018

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Frenkie de Jong concedes he will never reach the level of Johan Cruyff despite his performances prompting comparisons with one of Ajax’s greatest ever players, and insisted he will not be distracted by the praise that comes his way.

The 21-year-old has been one of Ajax’s most impressive players in a campaign that has left them second in the Eredivisie after 13 games and he starred in a 3-0 victory away at NAC Breda on Saturday.

That win came after De Jong’s important contributions for Netherlands in their 2-0 win over France and a 2-2 draw with Germany in the Nations League.

Responding to comparisons with one of football’s most revered creative players, De Jong told De Telegraaf: “I do not try to attract too much of it, and I focus on what I have to do.

“It’s nice to hear of course, but I’m really far from Cruyff’s level, and I will never be, so I do not have any illusions about that.”

De Jong has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from Ajax, with Barcelona reportedly interested in a deal that would take him to Camp Nou along with 19-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Teenager De Ligt has built on his impressive campaign in 2017-18 with a string of good performances at the back for club and country, and he has been tipped as a contender for the Golden Boy award that recognises European football’s best players under the age of 21.

He responded to the suggestion by telling ATS: “I do not consider myself a golden boy, I am a normal boy.

“Of course such a thing is nice, but I do not know if it will happen.”

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