Sunday, August 9, 2020 at
Barcelona and Frenkie de Jong qualified for the quarter finals of the Champions League on Saturday evening. The 3-1 victory at the Camp Nou was sufficient after the 1-1 in Naples and so the team of trainer Quique Sétien is preparing for a showdown with Bayern Munich next Friday at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. De Jong, who formed the midfield together with Sergi Roberto and Ivan Rakitic, played an excellent game and that was not lost on the newspapers in Spain. ‘Frenkie de Jong is the best news that Barça could wish for in Lisbon’, refers Brand to the remainder of the knockout stage on Portuguese soil.
“He started to play better as the game went on and, with Messi’s permission, was even the best Azulgrana. He chooses a game rhythm that his teammates rarely come up with. The midfield with De Jong is a different midfield ”, he adds Brand to read. The sports newspaper was less enthusiastic about Ivan Rakitic. “He made a mistake on a few passes and came too late when the ball had to be fought for. The result of his slowness was the penalty kick that kept Napoli alive. For the Croat it was an evening to quickly forget. ” Sergi Roberto also scored no points as a midfielder. “It barely stood out. He makes a contribution, he comes to the rescue, he throws his physique into the fight, but more than that is expected from a base strength in Barcelona’s midfield. ”
The assessment of Sport may be there: the ‘everywhere present’ De Jong gets, just like Messi, a nine from the Catalan sports newspaper. “De Jong was the best player of the game. The Dutchman had already warned that he was not happy with his achievements so far and today he pulled his gram with a superb match. He was all over the field and gave a great assist to Messi. ” The sports newspaper has more appreciation than Brand for the ‘tireless’ Sergi Roberto, who gets a seven. “He played a match that a trainer loves. Work hard, work harder and work even harder. He went on and on. He also contributed to the ball circulation in possession. ” For the ‘changeable’ Rakitic there was no more than a six in it. “He alternated good with very bad moments: he assisted Clément Lenglet in the 1-0, but he also played a leading role in Napoli’s penalty kick. As a defensive midfielder, he accomplished his duties. ”
AS does not lag behind in the shower of compliments for De Jong. “He outdid himself time and again, especially in the second half when he proved that he can break through the opposition’s lines,” the Madrid newspaper sums up. “It was unfortunate that his teammates were left behind when he just went forward and was often left alone when danger came to him. His pass from which Messi scored, a goal that was disallowed for hands, was of miraculous manufacture. De Jong also asserted itself from a defensive point of view. ” Rakitic had to pay for it. “Bad. He was unable to profile himself as a defensive midfielder, suffered a lot of loss of possession and thus caused errors in the ball circulation. He gave the assist to the 1-0, but he also caused an absurd penalty kick when the first half was almost over. ” AS says Sergi Roberto ‘the clear example of a footballer who does the dirty work and is essential for the team’. “There is no discussion about his work ethic and the way in which he sacrifices himself. He tried to multiply and cover up Rakitic’s flaws. ”
Also Sports world came out with the same stars: De Jong and Messi. “He got better and better as the game went on. The Dutchman set the pace of the game: he added speed or slowed the game, always looking at the need at that moment, and always made the right decisions. ” The Catalans saw that Rakitic ‘had a hard time when Napoli put pressure’, but that is it. “Sergi Roberto put little risk in his game from an offensive point of view, but again and again chose the right position if Barcelona wanted to keep possession of the ball.” ElDesmarque is frugal in handing out assessments: for De Jong and Messi a seven is the highest attainable. “De Jong was the best in midfield. He was the most active midfielder and excelled in the absence of Sergio Busquets. ”
Sergi Roberto and Rakitic got a five and a four respectively. “Sergi Roberto didn’t make any mistakes, but he didn’t excel either. He asserted himself more in the first half than after the break. Rakitic sent a few wrong passes on his own half and sometimes made a lost impression in midfield. He didn’t play very badly, but again he didn’t have his day. ” In the match report of The newspaper can also be read that ‘a passionate De Jong is great news for Barcelona’. “He gave a wonderful assist prior to the 3-0, which was rejected due to hands, to Messi’s disbelief.”