Frenkie de Jong (born 12 May 1997) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Netherlands national team. A versatile midfielder, he is known for his vision, passing, dribbling, technique, along with strong defensive abilities and attacking prowess. De Jong has frequently been ranked among the best midfielders in world football.
De Jong began his professional career at Willem II in 2015. He transferred to Ajax for a fee worth €1 a year later. The fee was symbolic and offset by a sell-on clause. At Ajax he established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Europe, after winning a domestic double and reaching the Champions League semi-finals. De Jong won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup, was Eredivisie player of the season, and was an instrumental part of Ajax’s first UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance in 22 years, in a breakthrough 2018–19 season.
De Jong was selected to the 2019 FIFA FIFPro World11 and was one of three Dutch players to feature in it for the first time in five years.
De Jong made his senior international debut for the Netherlands in September 2018. He became a starter in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, in which Netherlands finished runners-up. He also represented the side at UEFA Euro 2020.
Frenkie has described himself as a player “who likes to have the ball a lot, and play possession.” A versatile player, De Jong can function as a regista, defensive midfielder, central midfielder, holding midfielder, box-to-box midfielder and centre back. He has been lauded for his combination of defensive stability and playmaking ability. He often partnered Matthijs de Ligt at centre-back, at Ajax. As a centre back, he abstained from committing fouls, showed great positional sense, and won possession frequently. In this more defensive role, his performances led to comparison with former German sweeper Franz Beckenbauer and likened his tendency to progress forward in possession, and ability to play-make, from defense to the German legend.
De Jong’s vision has been praised alongside his ability to dribble in narrow spaces, control over possession, and decisive passing. A natural passer, de Jong had a 91.4 percent pass accuracy, in all competitions, during his last season with Ajax. An extraordinary game-reader, he often makes offensive runs through the middle.
His other attributes include a penchant for long cross-field passes, creating space, and absorbing attacking pressure. His close control, accuracy, work rate, and movement has drawn comparisons with Andrés Iniesta and Johan Cruyff. At Barcelona, he has primarily played on either side of a three-man central midfield. This has led experts and former players to regard him as a player with “Barça DNA” who was “born to play for Barcelona.”
Early Life and Career
Born in Gorinchem, Netherlands. De Jong was born in Gorinchem and grew up in Arkel, a town in the province of South Holland, where he started playing football at a young age. Since he started playing professionally, De Jong has chosen 21 on his shirt as a tribute to his grandfather who was born on 21 April.
A product of Willem II, de Jong played through the entire youth system at the club. On 10 May 2015, De Jong made his Eredivisie debut against ADO Den Haag, two days before his eighteenth birthday. He was substituted in the 68th minute for Terell Ondaan in a (1–0) home win.
At the beginning of the season, on 22 August 2015, Ajax purchased De Jong. He signed a four-year contract, for a symbolic €1 fee which included a 10% sell-on bonus. On 23 August 2015, he was loaned back to Willem II until 31 December 2015. During this time he made one substitute appearance in an Eredivisie match against PEC Zwolle.
For the first two years at Ajax, De Jong was in and out of the first team squad. After returning to the club in January, 2016, de Jong made 15 appearances in the 2015—16 Eerste Divisie for Ajax II. He primarily played in the centre of a three-man midfield and scored two goals. The following year, he was awarded the 2016–17 Eerste Divisie’s Talent of the season award for his performances with Ajax II for whom, he made 31 first team appearances and played as a central, and defensive, midfielder.
He made his senior debut against Sparta Rotterdam coming on, in the 88th minute, for Lasse Schöne. In total, he made four senior appearances for Ajax, and scored one goal against Go Ahead Eagles, in the 2016—17 season. He started one game, came off the bench thrice, and was an unused substitute in 13 games. He also made his European debut and made four substitute, and three bench, appearances, in the 2016–17 Europa League. He came off the bench in the 82nd minute against Manchester United in the final. It was Ajax’s first European final in 21 years.
Aged 20, he made 26 appearances for the first team. Primarily he featured as a center-back, in a back four, alongside national teammate Matthijs de Ligt due to the departure of Davinson Sanchez. He also played in a three-man center-midfield. He recorded 8 assists in 22 league appearances and received two yellow cards. Towards the end of the season he was injured—tendonitis, syndesmotic ligament tear, hairline crack in calf bone—and missed three months. De Jong made two substitute appearances in the 2017–18 Champions League qualification, as Ajax lost on away goals against Nice (3–3) in the third qualifying round.
In the 2018–19 season, he primarily played in the middle of a three-man midfield. De Jong was the Eredivisie player of the month in December (2018) and February (2019)—in which he completed 354 of 390 passes and made 53 ball recoveries. Later that month he received praise from Rafael Van Der Vaart, who said De Jong was among the best players in Europe with the ball at his feet. It is unclear whether during or prior to the beginning of the campaign he rejected an offer from Tottenham Hotspur, saying the “moment wasn’t right,” and wanted to play a full season in his preferred position at Ajax.
De Jong achieved success, and widespread recognition, during the 2018–19 season and led Ajax to their first domestic double (league and cup) since the 2001–02 season. Ajax wrestled with PSV Eindhoven all season for the league, and finished the last five weeks at the top of the table. He made 51 total appearances and starred in Ajax’s first leg (0–1) win over Tottenham Hotspur in the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League semi-final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium—in which De Jong had the most touches by any player on the pitch (87) and an 86.2 percent pass completion rate. It was the first time Ajax made the tournament semi-final since 1997. The team eliminated Juventus (3–2 on agg.) in the quarterfinals and Real Madrid (5–3 on agg.) In the second leg of the semi-final, Ajax lost 2–3 at home and were knocked out on away goals to English club Tottenham Hotspur. De Jong was selected to the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League squad of the season and voted the tournament’s midfielder of the season.
On 23 January 2019, La Liga club Barcelona announced the signing of de Jong on a five-year contract, effective from 1 July 2019, for an initial fee worth €75 million. De Jong had transfer discussions with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City and Manchester United before ultimately opting for Barcelona. He made his competitive debut on 16 August 2019, in a 0–1 opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao.
He played a crucial role in the 2021 Copa del Rey final, a 4–0 win over Athletic Bilbao, scoring in the 63rd minute and assisting two further goals.
During his youth career, de Jong made 22 appearances in the Netherlands youth setup. On 10 July 2015, he made his debut for the Netherlands U19 team against Germany U19. On 6 September 2018, de Jong replaced Georginio Wijnaldum at half-time to make his senior international debut in a friendly (2–1) win against Peru. Fifteen minutes into his debut, he assisted a goal for Memphis Depay by retrieving possession high-up the pitch and setting up the forward. He later on scored the winner, and had a 100 percent pass completion rate (21 passes) in the opposition half. He soon became a regular starter for the Netherlands in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League and the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Frenkie de Jong met his girlfriend Mikky Kiemeney in high school and they have been dating since 2014.
Frenkie de Jong’s girlfriend Milkky Kiemeney’s birthday fall on 17th April of every year.
Mikky Kiemeney is a Professional Hockey Player. She participated in many hockey championships for HC Den Bosch’s women’s team. Mikky Kiemeney was born and raised in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands. Mikky Kiemeney Birthday is Friday, April 17, 1998. Her parents raised her in her hometown.
Frenkie parents’ names are John De Jong (father) and Marjon Schuchhard-De Bruijn (mother).
Young Frenkie was born to a mother who played football and to his father, John, also an amateur footballer who played for the first team of ASV Arkel.
Frenkie de Jong earns $18 million annually playing for FC Barcelona.
Frenkie de Jong’s net worth as of 2022 is estimated at round $19 million – $30 million.