Frenkie de Jong will be one of the four captains of FC Barcelona next season. After the departure of veterans Sergio Busquets (35) and Jordi Alba (34) to Inter Miami, coach Xavi Hernandez had to appoint new leaders in his selection.
In the past, Johan Cruyff and Philippe Cocu regularly wore the captain’s armband with the Catalan flag. As usual with Barcelona and Real Madrid, a group of leaders have been appointed with a clear order. The main focus is on the number of years of service in the club.
This means at Barcelona that Sergi Roberto (31) is now the first captain. Right-back/right-half has been playing for Barcelona since he was 14, with the Catalan now playing 349 duels in the main force. Sergi Roberto succeeds Sergio Busquets, who got the role two years ago after Lionel Messi left for Paris. Prior to that, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, who also grew up in Barcelona, \u200b\u200bwere leaders at Camp Nou for fifteen years.
German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen (31) is number 2 in the ranking, followed by defender Ronald Araujo (24) from Uruguay. Frenkie de Jong is number four in the pecking order. So he will only wear the squad when Sergi Roberto, Ter Stegen and Araujo are not on the field. Sergi Roberto played 33 out of 53 matches in all competitions last season, and Ter Stegen missed only three. The Monchengladbach keeper had a dream year in La Liga by keeping a clean goal in no fewer than 26 out of 38 league matches. De Jong has a good relationship with Sergi Roberto and Ter Stegen. Together with their (future) wife, they recently went on vacation together for a week.
In the summer of 2019, De Jong moved from Ajax to FC Barcelona for 86 million euros, the club he had dreamed of since his youth as he would sometimes come on vacation. The Arkle midfielder had a very turbulent summer last year and was pushed out by chairman Joan Laporta who wanted to make room in his player budget, but de Jong refused a move to Manchester United who are very interested in his old coach Erik ten Hag. De Jong worked his way back into the team and was an important link in the team that convincingly became La Liga champions last season, although that rarely happens with frivolous football.
Captain last season
After four seasons with Barcelona, De Jong played 183 games for the club, having already had five different coaches (Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien, Ronald Koeman, Sergi Bargoan and Xavi) in four years. Scored 26 goals and 31 assists. At the end of last season De Jong was allowed to wear the captain’s armband. It was May 23 in the 36th round, when Barcelona were champions for more than a week.
De Jong wore the squad during a 3-1 defeat at Real Valladolid and criticized his side afterwards, but was also grateful for his first appearance as captain. There are no excuses, because in this club you must always win. They risked their lives and we were no good. “I am proud to wear the band because I always wanted to play for Barcelona,” said De Jong after the match.
Choice left Barcelona for the United States on Wednesday. There, Xavi’s team will play training matches against Juventus, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Milan over the next 10 days. Barcelona will then play Tottenham Hotspur on August 8 in the traditional Trofeo Joan Gamper match. This will not be played at the Camp Nou, because an almost entirely new stadium will be built there in the next year and a half.
Until the new stadium is ready (expected in late 2024), Barcelona will play its home matches at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the stadium for the 1992 Olympic Games on Montjuïc Hill. Barcelona opened the new season in La Liga on Sunday 13 August with the first leg in Getafe, a week later visiting Cadiz, Catalonia.
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