‘Koeman thought I should follow my heart’
“It would have been a different story if I was a base player, of course that also plays a bit into it,” admits the 39-time international. But the PSV player knows his place as a “breaker. When the need is high, Orange could always call on him.
De Jong looks back on Orange with satisfaction: ‘Been an honor, now other priorities’
But a trip to Gibraltar, Iceland or Latvia is no longer necessary for the striker, knowing that there is little playing time involved and that at that time he can also be with his children in the playground or in the pool. “So I also like to spend that time at home, so I can get my rest as well,” he says.
Koeman reacted to the decision with surprise, according to De Jong, but agreed with the footballer’s explanation. “He thought I should follow my heart,” he said. De Jong is also increasingly troubled by pains. For example, he was close to missing the World Cup due to injury. And he also suffered an ankle injury Sunday afternoon at RKC at PSV, which incidentally does not seem to be too bad.
World Cup as highlight
“I got to experience two European Championships and a World Cup, I’m very proud of that,” said De Jong, who scored eight goals in the Orange jersey.
Despite the elimination, he cherishes the lost World Cup quarterfinal against Argentina, in which he scored during the penalty shootout series lost by the Orange. “You get in, the game turns, only unfortunately we don’t score that one goal to go through,” he said.
De Jong also sees his 2-1 against Northern Ireland in October 2019 in the European Championship qualifying series as a highlight. “Thanks to that goal we went to the European Championship. Surely those are the things I was there for. That was beautiful.”