Nigel De Jong : The Dirty Boy of Netherlands football
A Dutch professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Turkish club Galatasaray and the Netherlands national team. Nigel De Jong, who won a World Cup runners-up medal in 2010 is 33 now.
Early Life :
Nigel de Jong is a Dutch footballer born on 30 November 1984 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Groomed in the youth ranks of a top-flight Dutch side Ajax between 1993 and 2002, Nigel made his first-team debut for the feeder club in October 2002.
In February 2003, he scored his maiden goal in a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League. In the 2003/04 season, thanks to his terrific performances and fighting spirit De Jong cemented his place in the starting lineup and helped his side to win the Eredivisie trophy. In the 2005/06 campaign, a crafty defensive midfielder found himself mostly stuck to the bench than on the pitch and that became a catalyst for his move to German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV in January 2006.
De Jong got a first taste of Bundesliga action in a 1-2 defeat to Nuremberg on 28 January. In March 2006, he sparked furor with his winning goal against Bayern Munich. Overall, a skillful player amassed 3 goals and 66 appearances during his three-year stint at Hamburger SV.
In 2009, the top-flight English side Manchester City striving for good defensive cover snapped up De Jong from the German club for an outstanding fee of £18 million. He had three brilliant seasons in a City’s shirt amassing a total of 104 appearances for the club.
On 31 August 2012, he joined AC Milan. On 31 January 2016, it was reported that De Jong had negotiated to terminate his contract with Milan and joined LA Galaxy on a free transfer, signing a one-year deal. De Jong was involved in a controversial incident in a game against the Portland Timbers on 10 April 2016 when a strong tackle by De Jong left Darlington Nagbe injured and in need of treatment. De Jong was only shown a yellow card by referee Allen Chapman, but was later suspended for three games. On 31 August 2016, De Jong signed for Turkish outfit Galatasaray on a two-year deal.
A highly promising Dutch international, Nigel de Jong has been capped to the Netherlands national team since 2004. He was also selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where he was in the starting line-up for all three group matches. However, a groin injury led to his substitution in the 9th minute of the Round of 16 match win over Mexico and it was later confirmed the De Jong would be unable to take any further part in the tournament.
Style of Play :
De Jong began his career as a creative midfielder or forward. At Ajax he played a number of positions, including central midfield and right wing. De Jong credits his conversion to a defensive-minded player to Huub Stevens, under whom he played at Hamburg. His new approach earned him the nickname “der Rasenmäher” (“the Lawnmower”). De Jong is typically the most defensively oriented midfielder in his team. When his team’s defenders are in possession of the ball, De Jong will often drop back towards them to receive it.
Personal Life :
De Jong is married to Winonah, with whom he has two children. His father is former Dutch international Jerry de Jong.
He owns a specialist car dealership (Continental Cars) operating in Europe (Hamburg) and the Middle East.
Johan Cruijff Shield: 2005
Manchester City :
FA Cup: 2010–11
Premier League: 2011–12
FA Community Shield: 2012
FIFA World Cup Runner-up: 2010
FIFA World Cup Third Place: 2014
AFC Ajax Player of the Year: 2005
A tireless grafter, he has garnered a reputation of being a combative and feisty player in his performances, a reputation that has earned him nicknames such as “The Destroyer” and “Lawnmower”. Happy Birthday to this star !