?New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong turned down the opportunity to wear the number 14 shirt at his new club as he is eager to avoid comparisons to the legendary Johan Cruyff.
Cruyff, who is one of the most iconic figures in Barcelona history, used to wear the number 14, but De Jong does not want comparisons to the Camp Nou hero.
?Mundo Deportivo state that, after already rejecting Nike’s request to wear the name ‘Frenkie’ on his shirt, De Jong declined the opportunity to wear 14, even though he was honoured that ?Barcelona looked to compare him to Cruyff.
Having already been compared to Cruyff by following a similar career path to the forward, De Jong does not want fans to expect him to play like the Dutch icon. The two play their football at opposite ends of the field, and De Jong believes there is no reason to compare him to Cruyff.
Instead, he told ?Voetbal International that he will continue to wear the number 21, as a tribute to his late grandfather.
“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.
“I am sorry that he could not experience this and I am so happy that the rest of my family could attend.”
Number 21 is currently worn by midfielder Carles Alena, but the Spaniard will now be assigned a different number to accommodate De Jong’s wishes.