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Carles Alena Selflessly 'Gives Up No 21 Shirt' For Frenkie De Jong To Honour His Late Grandad

Carles Alena Selflessly 'Gives Up No 21 Shirt' For Frenkie De Jong To Honour His Late Grandad

A humble Carles Alena will 'sacrifice his No 21 shirt' to Frenkie de Jong so the Dutchman can honour his late grandad.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the Barcelona new boy has reportedly spoken to Alena about the possibility of donning the No 21 shirt next season.

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And the Spanish midfielder, 21, has willingly agreed to relinquish his hold over the number to the former Ajax star.

Mundo Deportivo added that Alena would need to choose a new number in the 'coming days,' with the numbers 16, 19 and 24 all available for selection.

The Dutch star, 22, has a strong affinity with the No 21 and has worn it during his time with Ajax and the Netherlands.

And the Barcelona midfielder, who also uses the number in his Twitter handle, revealed his grandfather died on his 21st birthday and he pays tribute to him through the number.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I feel comfortable with that number," De Jong told Dutch magazine Voetbal International.

"I could easily play with another number, you know, it's not a problem, but it is nice that it also gives people a way of recognising me.

"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."

De Jong, who signed a pre-contract agreement with the Spanish champions back in January, was offered Barcelona's famed No 14 shirt worn by legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff.

But the Netherlands international turned down the number in the hopes of building his own legacy at the Camp Nou and waiting to hear Alena's decision on the No 21 shirt.

Will De Jong be successful at Barcelona?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Barcelona, Johan Cruyff, Frenkie De Jong, La Liga, Barca

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

 

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