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Frenkie de Jong calls out the media ahead of Napoli showdown

Frenkie de Jong / SPORT
Frenkie de Jong / SPORT

Recap of Frenkie de Jong’s press conference ahead of the match against Napoli.

In the build-up to Barcelona’s crucial clash against Napoli in the round of 16, Frenkie de Jong, the midfield linchpin, provided insights into his mindset, the team’s aspirations, and his stance on media scrutiny.

Expressing palpable anticipation for the encounter, de Jong conveyed, “We are very excited. We haven’t been in the round of 16 for a couple of years. We are really looking forward to it.” This sentiment underscores the team’s hunger to excel on the continental stage after a hiatus.

However, amidst the excitement, de Jong didn’t shy away from addressing the relentless rumors swirling around him. He lamented, “It is irritating what people write about me. Many things come out that are not true.” This candid acknowledgment sheds light on the toll that unfounded speculations can take on a player’s psyche.

Regarding his future at the club, de Jong dispelled exaggerated narratives surrounding his contract, asserting, “You are talking about my contract. There is a lot of smoke, that if I earn 40M… but this is very far from reality. I am very happy at Barça, it is the club of my dreams. I hope to continue here for many years.” His loyalty to Barcelona and desire for stability are evident, countering the sensationalism often attached to transfer rumors.

In a poignant critique of media practices, de Jong called for accountability, stating, “I think what you have to change is what you are doing with many players and coaches, writing things that are not true. Sometimes I hear that I don’t have Barça level. I think the press should change the lies about me.” This plea highlights the toll misinformation can take on players’ reputations and mental well-being.

Assessing the upcoming challenge posed by Napoli, de Jong acknowledged the Italian side’s pedigree, remarking, “Napoli have a great team. Last year they won Serie A, this year they are having a harder time, but they have managed to reach the round of 16. It is going to be a difficult game.” His respect for the opposition underscores the seriousness with which Barcelona approaches the match.

In particular, de Jong singled out Napoli’s standout performer, Kvaratskhelia, recognizing his threat, “Kvaratskhelia is a top-level player. He has one against one, he has a pass, he has a goal. He makes a difference and it will be important tomorrow.” This keen analysis highlights de Jong’s astute tactical awareness and the meticulous preparation undertaken by Barcelona.

In offering a glimpse into his thoughts and concerns, Frenkie de Jong encapsulated the blend of anticipation, determination, and vigilance characterizing Barcelona’s approach to the pivotal clash against Napoli.