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Xavi: Extraordinary De Jong can mark an era at Barcelona

22:31 GMT 19/11/2020
Frenkie de Jong Barcelona 2020-21
The club legend has backed the young Dutchman to leave a big mark at Camp Nou in the coming years

Xavi believes Frenkie de Jong can 'mark an era at Barcelona' as the Spaniard heaped praise upon the midfielder. 

De Jong moved to Camp Nou last season from Ajax and showed glimpses of his full potential in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Catalans. 

Now playing under Dutch coach Ronald Koeman, De Jong looks set to be played in his preferred position moving forward after being forced to fill in across the midfield last term. 

Still only 23, Xavi believes the best is yet to come from De Jong, with the man tipped to soon return to Barcelona as manager, adamant the Netherlands prodigy is capable of carving out his own legacy at the club and with his country too. 

"When Barcelona signed Frenkie de Jong, it made me happy. I wished him good luck on Instagram, he responded very well, saying 'Thank you, it's an honour'. I consider him a footballer that can mark an era at Barcelona," Xavi told the 2022 World Cup's Instagram account

"Surely for Netherlands he will be one of the best players of his generation at Qatar 2022, without a doubt, he's still so young. 

"I think he is an extraordinary footballer, he's not afraid of getting the ball in areas that make it difficult to turn, he's such a good player. 

"Obviously, Barcelona requires players to be at an excellent level, otherwise there's always criticism. When you arrive at Barcelona, you have Messi, Griezmann, Pique, Busquets, Ter Stegen, the best players in the world are on your team. And you need time to adapt to a different culture, different language. It was also difficult for me, for Iniesta as well, when we were younger at 20-23, it's hard at a big club to make a difference.

"Frenkie de Jong is Frenkie de Jong. He has nothing to do with Iniesta, with me or with Busquets, he's totally different. 

"He's a very capable player and he will be the organiser of this generation of Dutch players. He's capable of organising a team from the midfield and I have no doubts, it's up to him.

"The Netherlands had the bad luck that they didn't qualify for the last World Cup but now they have a generation of players who are really good and can achieve great things, without a doubt."