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FC Barcelona player Frenkie de Jong gave an interview to UEFA this week, in which the Dutch midfielder looked at his adaptation to the club and the upcoming Champions League fixtures against Napoli. Here are some of the standout quotes from the young talent:
Barça's Champions League tie against Napoli
“I have never played at Stadio San Paolo, but Napoli are a very good team. We played against them in preseason 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."
“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."
His first months at FC Barcelona
“I have found my place. I feel at home here, at the club, in the team, in the city and with where I live. I definitely feel at home. I play a lot which is good, but I do still believe that I can do a lot better.
"I think we have a lot of quality, which does not always show, but I’ve noticed an improvement lately so hopefully we will hit top form at the right time."
“Barça are an incredible club and I had always wanted to play here. You always feel that you can win the Champions League with Barça."
Dutch references at FC Barcelona
“When I began following football closely, there were not many Dutch players that I could watch at Barcelona: There was Mark Van Bommel. I think, and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, but I was not following football that closely yet. More recently, there has been Ibrahim Affelay and Jasper Cillessen.”
The influence of Johan Cruyff
“Unfortunately, I never met or spoke to Johan Cruyff. It is a shame, but sadly I never got to speak to him. But I felt his influence: At Ajax but also at Barcelona. You can tell that he has had a major impact. The manner in which people speak about him, and from those who worked with him or experienced him, it is clear that he was a very special person."
“At Barça you really notice that, whe"n you talk to people about football, his name comes up quickly when you say that you are Dutch. His vision for football has had a major impact here. They are eternally grateful to him.
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