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De Jong doesn’t regret Barcelona move & would like to retire at Camp Nou

19:57 GMT+4 24/01/2020
Frenkie de Jong Barcelona
The highly-rated Netherlands international midfielder is yet to produce his best for the Liga champions but intends to prove his worth over time

Frenkie de Jong concedes that he is yet to produce his best for Barcelona, but the 22-year-old midfielder has no regrets over linking up with the Liga giants and would like to retire at Camp Nou.

He has some way to go before that becomes an option, with there still plenty for him to prove in Catalunya.

Lofty expectations accompanied his €75 million (£65m/$85m) price tag when leaving Ajax to open up a new adventure in the Spanish top-flight.

Having struggled to find the consistency expected of him under the brightest of spots, it has been suggested that the Netherlands international may now be questioning a big career call.

He insists that is not the case, with De Jong telling Sport: “No, that's not true. I don't regret having signed for Barca, not for one second.

“I am really happy because I always wanted to play here. I am playing with players who for me are genuine legends. I am enjoying myself and I am learning a lot, too. I am at the best club in the world. living in a wonderful city with great weather.”

Pressed on whether he could go on to become a legend at Barca in time, De Jong added: “It's not something I can say. But I can give my best and have some wonderful years at Barca. Many years.

“Now, I am focused on working hard and being at my best. I hope I can be remembered: maybe not as a legend, but as a good player.”

De Jong’s fellow countryman, the iconic Johan Cruyff, spent only five years with Barca as a player and the hope is that another Dutch star will extend his stay well beyond that.

Asked if he could see himself spending the rest of his career with the Blaugrana, De Jong said: “I hope so. I always wanted to play for Barca.

“I don't know what will happen in the future, but I am happy here and there's no step forward from Barca. There's no better level.”

While De Jong is still finding his feet, with only 27 appearances taken in so far, he does have a number of superstar role models around him.

Pressed for his pick of that bunch, De Jong said: “It's difficult to pick one... but when I arrived, [Sergio] Busquets helped me with many things.

“I could say he took care of me in a certain sense: for example, the first day I arrived in Barcelona before training even started, he sent me a message to ask if I needed anything and he reserved a table in a restaurant for me and my girlfriend. He behaved really well with me. If I had to pick one, I would say Busquets, even though everyone has helped me a lot.”

De Jong is planning on taking many more lessons from his time at Barca, with the youngster prepared to concede that he has plenty of potential to still unlock.

Asked to rate his efforts so far out of 10, the talented playmaker said: “Six. For now, six or a six-and-a-half.

“I have played a lot of minutes and I've more or less played well, I am happy, but I know my performances could be much better.”

Barcelona will be back in La Liga action on Saturday when they take in a trip to Valencia.