Ronald Koeman points finger of blame at Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong absence from Euro 2024

Former Barcelona manager and legend Ronald Koeman has blamed the Catalan giants for Frenkie de Jong’s absence at the Euros this summer, saying they were reckless with the 27-year-old. The Dutch midfielder was ruled out of Euro 2024 on Monday, due to an ankle problem that he has failed to recover from.

The injury was sustained in late April against Real Madrid, and it had been hoped he would be back in time, but de Jong suffered a setback in training with the Netherlands. The news broke on Monday night, and Koeman wasted no time in explaining his feelings on the matter, as covered by Diario AS.

“Frenkie de Jong has a history with this injury so we have to think about his health. Their club decided to take risks there and this is the price we now have to pay for it.”

“We found out today in the middle of the afternoon. We were very optimistic, we really hoped to have De Jong in the last game of the group stage. But the best thing is to do without it.”

On a more general note, Koeman was unhappy with the schedule, which for 12 European clubs will include the Club World Cup next summer too.

“The clubs’ calendar is increasingly full: Lewandowski was injured in the friendly in Poland… and Koopmeiners doesn’t look good either. We will see tomorrow morning, but I don’t have good expectations.”

Meanwhile MD point out that this season de Jong has suffered from injuries more than ever before, with three ankle problems keeping him out of a total of 27 games out of a possible 53. He only managed 15 games in a row, and previously the most games he had been absent for was 13 in 2017-18 at Ajax.

This year he suffered his first ankle problem in September, keeping him out for two months, and again went down in early March. De Jong came back into the fold a month later, but was ruled out again after just a few games. Of their four ‘starting midfielders’, Pedri, Gavi, Ilkay Gundogan and de Jong, the quartet only managed 68 minutes on the pitch for Barcelona this season.

Tags Barcelona Frenkie de Jong Robert Lewandowski Ronald Koeman the Netherlands
La Liga - Club News