Frenkie de Jong responds to criticism from Marco von Basten and Ruud Gullit

Photo: Christian Bertrand /

Frenkie de Jong was criticized this week by two Dutch football legends Marco von Basten and Ruud Gullit. Now the FC Barcelona midfielder gave his answer.

“I don’t mind if people criticize me. I don’t think I was below average last year,” said the 24-year-old on the sidelines of the Champions League game against Benfica Lisbon (3-0).

Although he “doesn’t offer statistics like Lionel Messi”, he thinks his output was “really good” last year, considering how many games he played in a defensive role.

De Jong had scored seven goals and provided nine goals in 51 games last season. In almost half of his games he was used in central defense or in defensive midfield.

De Jong will play seven games in the new season. So far he has spread two goals directly. Frenkie de Jong sees room for improvement: “This season I can certainly do better so far.”

Ruud Gullit had stated that de Jong had to show more and that it should not be an excuse that de Jong would not be used in his parade discipline. Marco van Basten had demanded: “He has to go more to the top. In his game overview he also has to play balls in the depths. I miss that a little.”