“It is a chaos, there is a lot going on”, Frenkie de Jong agrees when asked about the crisis at his club FC Barcelona. But the Dutchman immediately reported to the Dutch after his holiday and had to follow everything from a distance.
For example the soap opera around Lionel Messi, child of the club and for years the big star. The Argentine captain wants to leave. “I haven’t talked to him about this myself,” says de Jong. “Neither did the club. So I honestly don’t know what’s going on.”
“But”, the international continues, “If Messi really leaves, it will be a huge blow for the team and the club. But when I come back after these internationals, I’ll see what happened at the club.”
Koeman in Barcelona
De Jong’s position among the Catalans seems to be strengthened with the arrival of Ronald Koeman as coach. The former national coach is very charmed by the midfielder and immediately announced his big plans with him at his presentation.
“I only spoke briefly with Koeman on the phone, but when I get to Barcelona I’ll probably talk to him about that sort of thing. And then of course it’s up to me if and where I’m going to play”
When the rumours about Koeman and Barcelona became more and more persistent, De Jong did not seek contact with the coach. “I’m not going to call him or append to a rumour to ask if it’s true. I think he already has enough on his mind.”
About the succession of Koeman to the Dutch Team, De Jong keeps himself on the flat. “I think that’s more up to the KNVB than to me. The league is leading and the players are subordinate in this.”
Let De Jong just play soccer in turmoil. “It’s more fun to be on the pitch. I think we as a group are also pretty quiet and the atmosphere is always good. So we don’t notice much of it apart from some new rules because of corona.”