Frenkie De Jong reflects on 200 appearances for Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong / FC Barcelona
Frenkie de Jong / FC Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong did an interview with Barcelona to discuss his time with the club after playing 200 matches.

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong celebrated his 200th game with the club on Thursday, marking the occasion with a 3-1 victory against Unionistas de Salamanca CF in the Copa Del Rey round of 16. Today, he took some time to reflect on his journey in an interview with Barcelona, emphasizing the significance of winning trophies over the accumulation of appearances.

“I’m very proud to reach 200 appearances for Barça. It means a lot to me, but I think winning trophies is more important than amassing games,” De Jong stated. The Dutch midfielder highlighted the contrast between his best and worst moments, citing the Champions League defeat against Bayern as the lowest point and the triumph in La Liga last year as the highest.

Reflecting on the recent Super Cup loss against Real Madrid, De Jong acknowledged the team’s poor performance but emphasized that one game doesn’t define a season. “Losing one game, and we lost it badly, doesn’t mean we’re having a bad season or anything,” he remarked. Despite setbacks, De Jong expressed optimism, noting that the team is still in contention for three titles.

“We know we have to improve, but the quality is there. The football isn’t bad either. But we’re lacking decisiveness, concentration sometimes. We have to improve that and stay focused the entire game,” De Jong asserted. He highlighted the importance of taking chances and maintaining defensive concentration throughout matches to avoid giving opportunities to opponents.

Speaking about the upcoming Champions League clash against Napoli, De Jong praised the Italian side as a very talented team. “Napoli are a very good team. They’re still champions of Italy and they have very good, top-class players,” he said. Despite acknowledging Napoli’s quality, De Jong insisted that Barcelona aims to qualify for the next round.

When asked about Barcelona being favorites against Napoli, De Jong remained cautious. “These games are different. Napoli aren’t doing in the league what they did last year, but they have more or less the same team, with very good players,” he stated. De Jong emphasized that the focus should be on proving their superiority on the pitch.

Frenkie de Jong / FC Barcelona
Frenkie de Jong / FC Barcelona

Addressing the team’s chances in La Liga, De Jong acknowledged that it depends on other teams’ performances but expressed confidence in Barcelona’s squad. “I do think we have the squad, and if we improve a few things, we have a very good chance of winning a lot of the games we have left,” he said.

On the Copa Del Rey, De Jong commented, “Barça always have a chance in any competition. We’re in the quarters, that’s just three games to reach the final and four to win it. Me and the rest of the team are excited about the cup. We have a chance, but it’ll be difficult.”

Reflecting on his personal growth, De Jong noted that he’s a few years older and has matured as a player. He expressed a commitment to continuous improvement and winning titles, acknowledging that every player on the team is of top quality.

Proudly accepting the role model tag from younger players, De Jong said, “I’m happy they say that about me. I always try to do my best and set a good example. If people appreciate that, I’m happy.”

Finally, De Jong addressed the absence of key players Gavi and Ter Stegen, recognizing the impact of missing regular starters on the team’s performance.

On a personal note, De Jong shared his joy about becoming a father: “I’m sleeping fine, to be sure! He sleeps well. Mikky, the mother, is also doing a great job. It’s a joy. It’s hard to explain, but when your child smiles, or you’re with him, everything feels right.”