FC Barcelona's new midfielder Frenkie De Jong spoke to 'Voetbal International' about his first impressions of the club and how he's settling into life as a Barça player.
On how big Barça are: “I now know how great Barcelona is, and feel what it means, and how important the club is to people. But of course, the most important thing is the football. After Barça, there is no step up available as a footballer."
Belief in his future: “Everything is new and different here and I want to explore that. I've always been successful and that gives me the belief that I will be again."
Barça's style: “It's a style of football which has been played throughout the years here by people such as Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets…"
His arrival at Barça - and Cruyff: “Cruyff is the greatest. He changed football and to compare him with anyone isn't fair. But if others want to do that, that's their choice.”
His presentation: “You feel as if you're in a film, that's how I'd describe it. You could compare it with your first day at school. You get butterflies in your stomach. I enjoyed it a lot. There were 20,000 people in the stadium who came to see me. It was great, wasn't it? Every child has their own dreams but this was mine. I wanted my entire family to be there with me because they've followed me throughout my career and it was special, for them too."
Happy with his welcome: “If you see how the club has treated me and my family, and how happy they are with me, it makes me feel incredibly proud."
Barça's squad: “I need to understand what it means to play alongside the best footballers in the world and it's them. I need to find my place, although that doesn't mean I'm scared of the challenge."
The pressure of playing at the Camp Nou: “Everybody talks about pressure but what is pressure? I don't feel I owe anybody anything. I don't need to score 50 goals or anything like that. I need to play the best that I can and then everything will go well."
His objectives: “First, adapt well to the team. Afterwards, play well. And then, of course, I want to win titles and awards with this club."
The locals' generosity: “I was with my family in a restaurant, in Barcelona, after I had signed my contract. When I went to pay they refused to accept my money. I asked the waiter if he was sure and he said: "Sir, the footballers at the club don't pay. It's an honour that you came here. Welcome to Barcelona.'"