Carles Alena hands Frenkie de Jong No.21 shirt at Barcelona so he can honour late grandfather


There’s a great deal of excitement surrounding Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong.

The 22-year-old was sublime for Ajax last season, helping the Dutch side reach the semi-final of the Champions League.

Barcelona paid €75 million to sign the midfielder and there’s a feeling that the Blaugrana have signed a superstar.

And De Jong himself is eagerly anticipating the chance to team up with Lionel Messi.

"I'm very excited to see Messi during training," De Jong said, per the Mirror.

"I think I'm only going to pass the ball to him!”

De Jong wore the No.21 shirt at Ajax and he’s set to take that number up at Barcelona after speaking to its current owner, Carles Alena.


De Jong to honour late grandfather with No.21 shirt 

Alena currently holds the No.21 shirt but according to Mundo Deportivo, he’s agreed to hand it to De Jong after the Netherlands international asked for it.

No.21 means a lot to De Jong - he will wear it to honour his late grandfather.

“I feel comfortable with that number,” De Jong told Dutch magazine Voetbal International,” per the Daily Mail.

FC Barcelona Unveil New Player Frenkie de Jong

“I could easily play with another number, you know, it's not a problem, but it is nice that it also gives people a way of recognising me.

“I brought my whole family to my presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather Hans de Jong, my father's father.

“He died on the day of my 21st birthday. Unconsciously it is also a kind of tribute. He was a huge football fan.”

Respect to Alena, who made his senior debut for Barcelona in 2016.

He will decide on a new number in the coming days.

De Jong's social media accounts include '21'

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According to AS, Barcelona offered De Jong the No.14 shirt, worn by the legendary Johan Cruyff. But the €75m man rejected it as he wanted No.21.

Both De Jong and Alena will be among the battle to start in midfield for Barcelona this season, with Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Arthur and Arturo Vidal also competing.

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