Luuk de Jong (born 27 August 1990) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a striker for La Liga club Barcelona, on loan from Sevilla, and the Netherlands national team.
De Jong previously played for DZC ’68, De Graafschap, Twente, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Newcastle United, before joining PSV in 2014. He played over 200 games for the club, scoring over 100 goals, and helped them win the Eredivisie three times in his five-season stay. In 2019, he joined Sevilla, before going out on loan to Barcelona in 2021.
On 20 August 2011, de Jong scored his first Eredivisie goal of the 2011–12 season in a 5–1 demolition of Heerenveen.5 The following week, on de Jong’s 21st birthday, he found the back of the net two more times as Twente smashed VVV Venlo 4–1.6
De Jong scored two goals against Waalwijk on 21 January 2012 – a tap in to an open goal and a penalty – as Twente ran out 5–0 winners.7 In Twente’s following fixture against Groningen on 29 January, de Jong netted a hat-trick, each goal coming off an assist from Ola John,8 and provided an assist for Leroy Fer, as his side won 4–1 and climbed to second place in the league table.9 On 10 February, de Jong found the back of the net two more times, but Twente missed the chance to go top of the league table, as they lost 3–2 at home to Heracles.10 De Jong’s two goals meant he had scored seven times in the past three Eredivisie fixtures.
On 8 March, in a Europa League match against Schalke 04, de Jong was the protagonist of a controversial penalty decision11 that resulted in a red card for Schalke defender Joël Matip, and a penalty kick which he himself successfully converted, to ensure the win for his side by 1–0.12 However, Twente ended up falling out of the competition, losing 4–1 in the second leg in Germany, as de Jong’s fellow Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted a hat-trick.13
De Jong scored twice in two minutes on 14 April to put his side 2–1 up away to Breda, but an injury-time strike from Nourdin Boukhari denied Twente the chance to close the gap on title rivals Ajax.14 He finished the season with 25 goals on a joint-second place, seven behind top-scorer Bas Dost.
At the end of the 2011–12 season, De Jong announced his decision to leave the club.15 Having attracted the interest of several clubs around Europe, including Premier League side Newcastle United, de Jong accused the club’s chairman Joop Munsterman of increasing the asking price for him.16 In response, the Munsterman and Steve McClaren expressed dismay over de Jong’s comments.
On 18 July 2012, de Jong signed for Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach on a five-year deal, with a fee of €15 million (£12.6m), having stated it was his dream to join.1819 Eight months later after the move, de Jong stated the Bundesliga was “a great place to develop as a player”.20
He made his debut with Mönchengladbach in a match against Munich 1860; his team ended up winning 4–2, however, de Jong was quite anonymous during his first match, failing to score or assist any goals.18 On 21 August, he started his first European game for Mönchengladbach and in the process scored an own goal from a free kick in a 3–1 defeat at the hands of Dynamo Kyiv during the Champions League Qualifiers.21 On 15 September, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3–2 defeat to 1. Nürnberg, converting a tap in after a cross from Patrick Herrmann.22 However, later in the season, De Jong’s first team opportunities soon faded after falling out with manager Lucien Favre, and only made 23 appearances, scoring six times. Towards the end of the season, De Jong reiterated he was confident he could prove himself as the best striker.23
However, in the 2013–14 season, De Jong’s first team place remained limited, as his playing minutes significantly decreased and made 14 appearances in the first half of the season.
Newcastle United (loan)
On 29 January 2014, de Jong completed a loan signing with Premier League side Newcastle United until the end of the 2013–14 season.24 He made his debut on 1 February in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland. In May 2014, it was announced that de Jong would be returning to Borussia Mönchengladbach after he failed to score in any of his twelve appearances for Newcastle.25
On 12 July 2014, de Jong signed a five-year deal with PSV for a fee of €5.5m.26 Following his move to PSV, De Jong said he felt he had made a mistake by moving to Germany.27
De Jong made his official debut for the club, where he scored in both legs, as PSV beat St. Pölten 4–2 on aggregate in the third round of Europa League.2829 It took until 31 August 2014 for De Jong to score his first league goal for the club, in a 2–0 win over Vitesse Arnhem.30
On 17 December 2014, de Jong scored his first hat-trick for the club in a 4–3 home win over Feyenoord, and his second on 13 February 2015 in a 4–2 away win over AZ Alkmaar. He also scored twice on 18 April, as the team defeated Heerenveen 4–1 for their 22nd Eredivisie title and first since 2008.31
On 2 August 2015, de Jong scored a double to help PSV clinch the 2015 Johan Cruyff Shield.32
On 1 July 2019, de Jong signed a four-year contract with Spanish club Sevilla.33 On 16 August 2020, de Jong scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Manchester United in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League.34 On 21 August, he scored twice in a 3–2 win over Inter Milan in the final, whilst being named the man of the match.3536 With his performance in the Europa League, he subsequently was named in the Squad of the Season.37
On 28 October 2020, he scored the only goal in a 1–0 win against Rennes in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage.38
On 31 August 2021, de Jong joined Barcelona on a season-long loan until 30 June 2022.39 On 23 September, he made his debut in a goalless draw against Cádiz, starting and playing 67 minutes before being substituted for Philippe Coutinho.40 Three days later, he scored his first goal for the club, assisted by Sergiño Dest, in a 3–0 La Liga victory over Levante.41 On 13 February 2022, de Jong scored the equalizer in the 96th minute to save his team in a 2-2 draw against Espanyol. On 10 April 2022, he scored the winner against Levante UD in the 93rd minute with a header.42
De Jong and teammate Gregory van der Wiel at an Oranje training session in 2011
De Jong received his first call-up for the Netherlands senior team for a friendly against Austria on 9 February 2011, making his debut in the same match, replacing Dirk Kuyt.
He scored his first international goal on 6 September 2011, in a 2–0 win during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying game against Finland that secured the Netherlands qualification to the finals.43
On 7 May 2012, he was named in the provisional list of 36 players for UEFA Euro 2012 by Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk. He was one of the 23 players chosen to represent the team in the tournament, but did not make any appearances.
Lionel Andrés Messi (n. 24 iunie 1987,2345 Rosario, Provincia Santa Fe, Argentina) este un fotbalist argentinian, spaniol și italian liber de contract, care joacă pe post de atacant sau mijlocaș. Pe plan internațional, are prezențe la națională pentru Argentina U20(d), Argentina U23(d) și Argentina. Messi a evoluat la FC Barcelona în Primera División timp de 17 ani, între anii 2004 si 2021. Messi este considerat drept cel mai bun jucător din generația sa, și unul dintre cei mai buni din istoria fotbalului,8910 fiind nominalizat la Jucătorul anului până la vârsta de 21 de ani. El a fost desemnat de FIFPro cât și de World Soccer Magazine “tânărul jucător al anului” timp de trei ani consecutiv în perioada 2003-2005. Stilul său de joc a atras comparații între el și legenda fotbalului Diego Maradona,11 chiar Maradona declarându-l pe Messi succesorul său.12
Messi a început să joace fotbal încă de la o vârstă fragedă, potențialul său fiind foarte repede observat de Barcelona. În 2000, Messi s-a mutat cu toată familia în Europa, plecând de la Newell’s Old Boys deoarece Barcelona s-a oferit să plătească tratamentul pentru deficiența hormonului de creștere (acum măsurând 1,69 m). Și-a făcut debutul în La Liga în sezonul 2004-2005, fiind cel mai tânăr jucător care a jucat și marcat un gol în campionatul Spaniei. Barcelona a câștigat titlul în sezonul de debut al lui Messi. Sezonul în care a ieșit la suprafață a fost 2006-2007: a devenit titular, a marcat un hat-trick în El Clásico și a terminat cu 14 goluri în 26 de meciuri de campionat. Cel mai de succes sezon a fost 2008-2009, când Messi a marcat 38 de goluri având un rol principal în câștigarea trofeelor obținute de catalani: Liga Campionilor, Campionatul și Cupa Spaniei.
Messi a fost golgheterul Campionatului mondial de tineret din 2005 marcând două goluri chiar în finală. La scurt timp după, a devenit un membru cu drepturi depline la prima reprezentativă. În 2006 el a devenit cel mai tânăr jucător care a evoluat la Campionatul Mondial, și a câștigat medalia de argint la Copa América în anul următor. La Olimpiada din Beijing el a câștigat primul trofeu cu naționala mare, medalia de aur cu echipa olimpică de fotbal a Argentinei.
În 2009, 2010 și în 2011 a primit premiul Balonul de Aur pentru cel mai bun fotbalist al anului egalând performanța lui Michel Platini, singurul jucător din istorie care reușise să câștige până în acel moment 3 baloane de aur consecutiv. În 2012 depășește această barieră, fiind singurul jucător din istorie care câștigă al patrulea balon de aur consecutiv.13 Iar în 2015 câștigă al 5-lea balon de aur din cariera sa.14 În iulie 2016, Lionel Messi anunța public că se va retrage de la echipa națională la numai 29 de ani, după ce a ratat la loviturile de departajare în finala Copa America, astfel pierzând a treia finală consecutivă cu țara sa în 3 ani. Din fericire, se răzgândește o lună mai târziu, și începe pregătirea cu Argentina pentru Campionatul Mondial de Fotbal din 2018. în 2019, Messi a câștigat un al 6-lea balon de aur, fiind jucătorul cu cele mai multe baloane de aur câștigate din lume, 6 la număr. Messi și-a atras de-a lungul timpului porecle ca: Messidona, Messia, Messigician, La Pulga, Goat (greatest of all time = cel mai bun din toate timpurile).În data de 5 august 2021, el s-a despărțit de FC Barcelona fiind liber de contract pana în prezent.