'I didn't create enough' - De Jong says he could have done more in Nations League final defeat

Comments()
Getty
The Dutch midfielder was mired in self-reflection in the wake of his side's narrow defeat on Sunday evening as Goncalo Guedes' effort proved decisive

Frenkie de Jong admitted that he felt he could have made a bigger impact following Netherlands’ Nations League final defeat at the hands of Portugal.

Oranje slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat against the hosts thanks to Goncalo Guedes’ 60th minute goal as the latter’s side lifted the inaugural Nations League trophy.

De Jong was named as Young Player of the Tournament after the final whistle despite his side’s defeat, but the Barcelona midfielder couldn’t help but feel as if the game might have had a different outcome if he was on top of his game.

“I could have done a lot more today,” he told NOS .

“I didn't create enough spaces between their defence and midfield.”

Ronald Koeman’s side were taken all the way to extra-time by England in the semi-final on Thursday, but de Jong feels his side can’t use that as an excuse for their final defeat.

“The England game was tough,” he added.

“Some of us hadn't played a game for three weeks and suddenly they had to play extra time, at this high level.

“But that may not be an excuse, because we are all professionals. That's not the reason we lost, although we were not 100 percent fresh either."

The 22-year-old won his ninth international cap against Portugal on Sunday – eight months after making his Netherlands debut in a friendly against Peru.

The midfielder is one of a number of young players in Koeman’s squad enjoying a meteoric rise of late, with Matthijs de Ligt heavily linked with a move to join his former Ajax team-mate at Camp Nou this summer.

Dutch football suffered a major setback after the national team missed out on the World Cup last summer, but De Jong believes he and his team-mates have shown the world they are ready for the future.

Article continues below

"We have shown as a team what we are capable of,” he continued.

“We've beaten some big teams and we gained experience in this semi-final and final.

“Of course, we have to qualify for the European championships first, but if we make it, we can take the experience of this tournament with us."

Close