Barcelona won't change me - De Jong Featured

05 Jul 2019
170 times

Frenkie de Jong insists he will not be changed by his big-money move to Barcelona.

Netherlands midfielder De Jong agreed to leave Ajax - who he helped to the Champions League semi-finals last season - for Barca in January for a €75 million (A$132 million) fee.

The transfer officially went through on July 1, and De Jong was today unveiled as a Barca player.

But despite acknowledging it will take time to adjust to life in Spain, the 22-year-old was adamant his attitude and approach will not be altered by the switch.

"It will be special to experience it," De Jong told Dutch publication AD ahead of his presentation at Camp Nou.

"I've seen players presentations from big clubs like Barcelona on television and now I will be a part of it myself. I have no idea what to expect, but that's not bothering me that much.

"I just let it happen and try to enjoy it as much as possible. I'm not stressing out about it and won't change my behaviour.

"Also in Barcelona I will be the same Frenkie. On the pitch and as a person."

De Jong scored three goals and provided three assists as Ajax won the Eredivisie title and KNVB Beker in 2018/19 and is pleased to have left the club on a high note.

"I'm glad I got to end my time with Ajax with prizes," he said.

"Of course I'm going to miss it and I'm sure it will take some time to get used not driving to De Toekomst [Ajax's training ground] every morning, but I made a switch earlier when I went from Willem II to Ajax and I got a lot of great things in return."

Despite having been sure of his next destination since January, De Jong claimed Ajax's hectic schedule meant he rarely had time to consider his imminent move to Barca.

"We had a game every three days with Ajax. Therefore I barely had the time to think about next season," he added.

"I did take Spanish lessons though, but I could have done better. I had 10 courses, but not much time to study. At least I know some words.

"I will have to learn the language properly when I have to speak it on a daily basis."

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