"De Jong is De Jong; he has nothing to do with Iniesta or with me"
When Xavi Hernández speaks, Barcelona fans listen. The now manager of Al Sadd, linked to Barcelona in the future, spoke about the adaptation of Frenkie De Jong to the club.
"I consider him a footballer to mark an era at Barcelona. I am sure that in the Netherlands he will be one of the best players at the World Cup, without any doubt. He is still very young", Xavi explained on the official Instagram of Qatar 2022.
Xavi wanted to remove the pressure from De Jong. And the comparisons with one of the most glorious eras of Barcelona are inevitable when looking at the centre of the park.
"De Jong is De Jong. He has nothing to do with Iniesta, nor Busquets, nor me. He is totally different", the Al Sadd manager added about the figure of the Dutch player.
Xavi understands that acclimatising to Barcelona isn't easy. "Barcelona requires an excellent level, otherwise there is criticism. You arrive at the team and there are Messi, Griezmann, Piqué, Busquets, Ter Stegen... the best footballers in the world are in your team and you need time to adapt, it's another culture, a different language. It was difficult for me or Iniesta when we were young, we were 20 and 23 years old, it is difficult in a big club to make a difference", he said.
Lastly, Xavi wanted to give a profile to De Jong: "He is a capable footballer, he is going to be the organiser of this generation, capable of organising a team from the centre of midfield. There is no doubt about it. It depends on him. The Netherlands have had bad luck in the last few World Cups but now they have a very good generation to achieve great things".