Frenkie de Jong spoke in a UEFA interview ahead of Barcelona's Champions League last 16 clash with Napoli. He said facing the Italians won't be like in pre-season, when Barca beat them 2-1 and 4-0 in friendlies.
“I have never played at Stadio San Paolo, but Napoli are a very good team," said De Jong. "We played against them in pre-season but that is always different and it doesn’t mean very much. Napoli have lots of quality, although this season they have had somewhat disappointing results in Serie A.
“They have done well in the Champions League, for example against Liverpool. Napoli are a very strong team and we hope that these will be great matches for us!
“In the group stage, you have six matches. So if you lose one or have a bad day, you can still fix it. It is much more difficult in the knockout stages. You also are left with only the best teams; there is not much difference in the level between them."
He also spoke about team-mate Leo Messi.
“When I began training with him it was strange, because when I was 12, still in secondary school, I used to watch a lot of football. He was already the best in the world. He won the Ballon d’Or back then, so I was a fan -or whatever you want to call it," added the Dutchman.