Nigel de Jong

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Nigel de Jong
Nigel de Jong.jpg
Personal information
Full name Nigel de Jong[1]
Date of birth (1984-11-30) 30 November 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 34
Youth career
1993–2002 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Ajax 96 (9)
2006–2009 Hamburger SV 66 (3)
2009–2012 Manchester City 104 (1)
2012– Milan 60 (5)
National team
2002–2005 Netherlands U21 10 (0)
2004– Netherlands 80 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:04, 18 January 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 04:40, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Nigel de Jong (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnɑjdʒəl də ˈjɔŋ]; born 30 November 1984) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian Serie A club Milan and the Netherlands national football team. He joined the Ajax youth academy as a youngster and worked his way through the ranks to make the first team at age 17. Two years later, in 2004, he made his international debut. Additionally, in 2010 he won a World Cup runners-up medal.

De Jong moved on from Ajax in 2006 to join Hamburg in search of first team football and then moved to Manchester City in January 2009 for an estimated £18 million,[2] where he became an important part of City's holding midfield. 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 Terrier" and "Lawnmower".[3][4] He moved to Italian side Milan in August 2012.

Club career[edit]


On 19 October 2002, De Jong made his debut for the Ajax first team.[5] He scored his first goal of his senior career on 18 February 2003 in a 1–1 draw against Arsenal in the Champions League.[6] He became a first team regular the following season, in which Ajax won the Eredivisie title.[7] In 2004–05, his last full season in Amsterdam, De Jong was named Ajax Player of the Season.[7] After a period when he appeared regularly in midfield, he found himself sitting on the bench more often than being in the starting line-up. On 7 December 2005, it was announced that De Jong did not wish to extend his contract with Ajax,[8] which was due to end in July 2006.[9]


On 26 January 2006, De Jong signed a four and a half-year contract at German Bundesliga club Hamburg, the transfer fee approximately €1 million.[10] At Hamburg he joined two other Dutchmen: Rafael van der Vaart and Khalid Boulahrouz. He made his Hamburg debut two days later in a 2–1 defeat at Nuremberg.[11] In March 2006, De Jong scored the winning goal in Bayern Munich's first ever defeat at the Allianz Arena.[12] The following week he received the first red card of his career for a second booking in a UEFA Cup match against Rapid Bucharest.[13] His season was cut short in April, when he required surgery on a knee problem.[14] The injury also kept him out of the Dutch squad for the 2006 World Cup, though he was later put on standby after regaining fitness.[15]

Manchester City[edit]

De Jong (far right) with Manchester City teammates.

On 21 January 2009, De Jong was signed to Manchester City for an estimated fee of £18 million[2] by manager Mark Hughes who deployed him in the role of midfield enforcer in a team whose defence badly needed reinforcement. He signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.[16] and was assigned the number 34 shirt. He made his debut for the club against Newcastle United on 28 January 2009.[17] He made sixteen appearances in the Premier League over the second half of the season.

De Jong was given a start against Arsenal on 12 September 2009.[18] He was named Man of the Match by Sky Sports in a 2–1 win over Chelsea on 5 December 2009.[19] By the end of the season he had become a firm fans' favourite as well as being one of new manager Roberto Mancini's first picks as defensive midfielder as the team narrowly missed out on a Champions League berth.[20] De Jong scored his first goal for Manchester City in a 2–1 victory against West Ham United on 1 May 2011.[21]

De Jong was a member of the City side which won the 2010–11 FA Cup and the 2011–12 Premier League, making 137 appearances and scoring twice before being sold to A.C. Milan in August 2012.


On 31 August 2012, De Jong joined Italian Serie A side Milan for £3.5 million rising to £5 million depending on appearances, signing a three-year deal.[22][23] De Jong scored his first goal for Milan in a 3–2 loss against Lazio on 20 October 2012.

On 4 May 2014, De Jong scored his second goal for Milan, the winning goal against Internazionale in the Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro.[24]

At the start of the 2014–15 season, De Jong declared his desire to finish his career at AC Milan. He said: "I want to stay at Milan and I repeat that I want to end my career here. What point are we at with the new contract? I know that the club has contacted my agent and there is an appointment for next week."[25]

International career[edit]

On 31 March 2004, De Jong made his debut with the Netherlands in a friendly game against France. He was overlooked for the squad that went to play in UEFA Euro 2004,[7] and missed the 2006 FIFA World Cup with a knee injury.

De Jong (right) in action for the Netherlands at the UEFA Euro 2012

He was selected by Marco van Basten to play for the Oranje at UEFA Euro 2008. During the tournament, he was played as a "screening midfielder", partnering with Orlando Engelaar in central midfield.[7] This resulted in De Jong playing three[26] out of the four games that saw the Netherlands reach the quarter-final stage, where they lost to Russia.[27]

De Jong scored his first international goal against Iceland on 6 June 2009 in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, which sealed the Netherlands' passage to the 2010 World Cup.[28]

De Jong was part of the Dutch team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup managed by Bert van Marwijk.[29] The player was in the starting line-up for their first match in the competition, a 2–0 victory over Denmark.[30] He was suspended in the semi-final against Uruguay after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in the Netherlands' quarter-final win over Brazil.[31] He played in the Final of the competition, which the Netherlands lost 1–0 to Spain after extra time. In the early stages of the match, De Jong made a chest high challenge on Xabi Alonso, with his studs making contact with the Spaniard's ribs. Referee Howard Webb later stated that he would have sent off De Jong if he'd had a better view of the incident.[32]

De Jong was part of the Netherlands UEFA Euro 2012 squad. The Dutch were eliminated in the first round after losing all three matches.

He was also selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where he was is 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.[33] Despite this, he later recovered to play 62 minutes of the semi-final against Argentina.

Scores list Netherlands' tally first.

Nigel de Jong: international goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 June 2009 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland
1 – 0
2 – 1
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Style of play[edit]

De Jong in action for the Netherlands

De Jong began his career as a creative midfielder or forward.[34] At Ajax he played a number of positions, including central midfield and right wing.[5] 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").[34] 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.[35] Sometimes De Jong is the sole holding midfielder, but often he plays alongside another defensive player, such as Gareth Barry at Manchester City or Mark van Bommel for the Dutch national team.[36] De Jong had the highest passing completion percentage in the Premier League in the 2010–11 season out of the top 50 players (90%).[37]

During an international friendly on 3 March 2010, De Jong fractured the leg of Bolton Wanderers' American international Stuart Holden as the result of a late challenge, causing Holden to be sidelined for nearly two seasons.[38] In the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final he kicked Spanish player Xabi Alonso in the chest, a challenge for which De Jong admitted he was lucky not to have received a red card.[39] On 3 October 2010, in a Premier League match against Newcastle United, a tackle by De Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa resulted in the latter being carried off the pitch with a double fracture of his left tibia and fibula.[40] De Jong was later dropped from the Dutch national team for an unspecified period of time, but has since been reprieved.[41] De Jong however has never received a red card during his time at Manchester City. To date the only red card De Jong has received in his professional career was a sending off for two bookable offences in a match for Hamburg against Rapid Bucharest in the 2005–06 edition of the UEFA Cup.[13]

In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked De Jong tenth in its list of the world's dirtiest footballers.[42]

Career statistics[edit]

Personal life[edit]

De Jong is of Surinamese-Indonesian descent; Surinamese parentage from his father and Ambonese from his mother.

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 operating in Europe and the Middle East.[34]


Puma SE have a four-year partnership with De Jong, that commenced in January 2012.[46]



Manchester City





  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Manchester City agree fee for Hamburg's Nigel de Jong". (Telegraph Media Group Limited). 19 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Nigel de Jong: I Am A Training Animal". 25 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Paul (22 January 2011). "Bolton's Stuart Holden: 'I got the x-ray results and thought: not again'". London: Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "8 Nigel de Jong". Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ajax frustrates Arsenal at Highbury; Valencia wins". Sports 18 February 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Nigel de Jong". ESPN. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "'Departure Nigel de Jong sad for Ajax'". Ajax. 7 December 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Nigel de Jong joins Hamburger SV". Ajax. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hamburg swoop for Ajax ace De Jong". CNN. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Nuremberg jolt Hamburg's title bid". CNN. 28 January 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hamburg get double over Bayern". Irish Examiner. 4 March 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Hamilton, Fiona (10 March 2006). "Germans continue to lose ground in Europe". The Times (London). Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Dutch squad trio face injury race". CNN. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "De Jong darf mit, Team Ghana nichts sagen". Der Spiegel (in German). 6 June 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "City complete De Jong deal". 21 January 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  17. ^ Soneji, Pranav (28 January 2009). "Man City 2–1 Newcastle". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "City v Arsenal – News – Manchester City FC". Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "City do United a favour". Sky Sports. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "34 Nigel De Jong". Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  21. ^ Magowan, Alistair (1 May 2011). "Man City 2 – 1 West Ham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "De Jong: A.C. Milan official communication". (Associazione Calcio Milan). 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  23. ^ Clayton, David (31 August 2012). "De Jong joins AC Milan". (Manchester City Football Club). Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "AC Milan 1-0 Inter: De Jong Delivers In Dismal Derby". Forza Italian Football. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Doyle, Mark (18 September 2014). "De Jong: I want to retire at AC Milan". Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Nigel De Jong (30 November 1984). "Nigel De Jong Profile, Statistics, News, Game Log – Manchester City, English Premier League – ESPN Soccernet". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  27. ^ "Netherlands Fixtures and Results – European Championship Football – ESPN Soccernet". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  28. ^ "Nigel De Jong World Cup 2010 Player Profile". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). n.d. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  29. ^ "Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad". London: The Guardian. Press Association. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Netherlands-Denmark". FIFA. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "De Jong rues semi-final absence". 5 July 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  32. ^ "I should have shown Nigel de Jong a red card, says Howard Webb". The Guardian. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  33. ^ "world Cup 2014: Holland’s Nigel de Jong out of rest of the tournament". The Guardian. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  34. ^ a b c Taylor, Daniel (9 May 2009). "De Jong admits that City need to find a winning mentality". (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  35. ^ "Holland consider playing the fab four together". Zonal Marking. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  36. ^ "6 points on Manchester City 2–3 Manchester Utd". Zonal Marking. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  37. ^ "Premier League statistics". The Daily Telegraph (London). 30 March 2009. 
  38. ^ "Stuart Holden eyes Bolton return after fractured leg". BBC Sport. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  39. ^ "World Cup 2010: Xabi Alonso slams Nigel de Jong tackle". BBC Sport. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  40. ^ "Hatem Ben Arfa has surgery on double leg break". BBC Sport. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  41. ^ "Manchester City's Nigel de Jong dropped by Netherlands". BBC Sport. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  42. ^ Bossi, Dominic (12 December 2013). "Kevin Muscat named football's dirtiest player". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  43. ^ "Nigel de Jong". Soccernet. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  44. ^ a b Includes one appearance in the FA Community Shield
  45. ^ "de Jong, Nigel". National Football Teams. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  46. ^ "Nigel de Jong Signs Deal to Wear Puma Boots". Retrieved 25 January 2012. 

External links[edit]