BARCELONA (Reuters) – New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong was greeted by 20,000 supporters as he took his first steps on the Nou Camp pitch at his unveiling on Friday, six months after agreeing a 75-million-euro move from Ajax Amsterdam to the La Liga champions.
The 22-year-old Netherlands international repeatedly kissed the badge on the Barcelona shirt while on the pitch to the delight of the fans and told them: “Putting the Barcelona shirt on for the first time makes me feel very proud.”
De Jong played a crucial role in Ajax winning the Dutch league and Cup last season as well as knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the Champions League semi-finals, where they suffered a painful elimination to Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder, who has signed a five-year contract, strengthens Barca’s affinity with Dutch football which began in 1973 with the signing of Johan Cruyff, who revolutionised the club as a player and later as a coach.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Alison Williams)