Frenkie de Jong: Barcelona told me to knock Real Madrid out of the Champions League

Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

Ajax have the chance to make Champions League history on Tuesday night as they look to knock out holders Real Madrid in the last 16.

Real won the first leg 2-1 and have the home advantage for the second, but they've lost their last three games and are seriously struggling in front of goal.

Meanwhile, their opponents have won their last three games, scoring 13 goals along the way, and head into the clash knowing none of the pressure is on them.

A fascinating detail from Real and Ajax's last 16 tie is the inclusion of Frenkie de Jong, who in January agreed to join Barcelona for £65m at the end of the season.

De Jong, 21, would become an instant hero in Catalonia if he managed to inspire Ajax to victory at the Bernabeu.

And it turns out he's under instructions from his new club to eliminate Los Blancos from the Champions League after they discussed the tie during contract negotiations.

"When I signed, Barcelona asked me to knock out Real Madrid," De Jong said in an interview with De Telegraaf. "That would be great for Barca, too.

"If we knock out Real Madrid we will surprise everyone in the football world and we will put Ajax's name on the map.

"We have to play offensively, press and play good football. If everyone's involved, we have enough quality to surprise people."

Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

De Jong has even more incentive to beat Real, though his performance will need to be much better than in the first leg to achieve that.

Catalan newspaper Sport analysed De Jong's display from the 2-1 defeat and, simply put, they wasn't very impressed.

"It was an intense battle between the two of them - because De Jong had the job of stopping [Luka] Modric," Sport's German Bona wrote.

Ajax v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

"The result was that they kept each other quiet. De Jong barely had the ball and when he escaped Modric, he didn't feel comfortable.

"He lacked precision and on more than one occasion didn't find his desired team-mate with the ball. Only after Karim Benzema's goal could he be more liberated.

"He moved up the pitch a bit more, where Modric did not follow, and he had more of the ball. Madrid were disjointed and Ajax equalised, before [Marco] Asensio's late winner.

"It was not the best game from De Jong and he will not remember it fondly, especially as the referee didn't give a foul from Lucas Vazquez on him and it led to Madrid’s winner."

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