Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann surprisingly named Frenkie de Jong as the best player he has ever lined out against.
de Jong, a versatile 21-year-old central midfielder who can also play in defence, made the move to Ajax from fellow Eredivisie outfit Willem II in the summer of 2015.
After struggling for game-time during his first couple of seasons in Amsterdam, de Jong burst onto the scene last season, on his way to 22 league appearances.
The youngster even managed to chip in with a hugely-impressive 8 assists in the Eredivisie.
And the current campaign has only seen de Jong’s prominence in his home country grow stronger, with the gifted midfielder having played a starring role in Ajax’s 18 wins from 23 thus far in the league, as well as the club’s run to the Last-16 of the Champions League.
Frenkie de Jong in action during the UEFA Champions League third-round qualifying match between Ajax and Royal Standard de Liege. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
In addition, de Jong has already racked up 5 caps for the Netherlands.
Barcelona vs PSG
As such, news that the 21-year-old was being sought out by a number of European football’s biggest clubs over the last couple of months came as little surprise.
The hunt for the Dutch maestro’s signature came to a head in January, when Barcelona and PSG went head-to-head over de Jong.
In the end, it was the Blaugrana who won out, securing a hefty deal worth 75 million Euro (plus a potential 11 million in bonuses) which will see de Jong make the move to the Camp Nou in the summer.
Griezmann lauds de Jong
The massive sum splashed out by Barca’s board on the Ajax starlet came as just the latest confirmation that de Jong is widely-viewed as a potential world-beater.
And one of the 21-year-old’s future La Liga rivals has this evening backed this suggestion, by incredibly going as far as to claim that de Jong is the best player he has ever faced on the pitch.
The individual to have waxed lyrical regarding the midfielder’s talents was Atletico Madrid hitman Antoine Griezmann, who, after being questioned on his toughest opponent during an interview with Oh My Goal, explained:
‘I would say Frenkie de Jong. Because I tried to pressure him but I never succeeded.’
To be clear, Griezmann also went on to name Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the greatest players of all-time.