• Wesley Sneijder says Frenkie de Jong could take over Lionel Messi as the leader in Barcelona
  • De Jong says it is his dream to play at Camp Nou
  • De Jong will have to work his way up before taking the seat of Messi at Barca

Former Real Madrid standout Wesley Sneijder tags Frenkie de Jong as Lionel Messi’s heir apparent in Barcelona. As the Argentine superstar starts to contemplate on his life after football, Sneijder has endorsed his fellow Dutch national, saying the youngster has the billing to become the next leader at Camp Nou.

The 35-year-old commended de Jong’s decision to join the reigning La Liga champions, saying the Spanish club is the most ideal place for the rising skipper to carve out a name in the sport.

“De Jong made the best choice because he understood that his football is perfect for Spain and Barcelona,” Sneijder told the Daily Mail.

“(Mattijs) De Ligt chose differently (by joining Juventus) but Frenkie made the perfect decision for his life. De Ligt a different choice but in my opinion De Jong is forward-looking.

“He did very well to choose Barcelona: it is a club suitable for him when Messi will stop with football Frenkie will become even more of a leader.”

De Jong joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019 by signing a five-year contract worth $85 million as he turned down offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

Prior to his transfer from Ajax, the 23-year-old had been one of the most sought-after talents in the market attributing to his top-notch performance for the Dutch club in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals.

Opting to play for the Blaugranes is a no-brainer for de Jong, who declares Barcelona is his dream club.

"It was my dream to play for Barcelona,” he added. “They were my favorite club outside of the Netherlands. When they came and showed they were really interested they made the choice easier,” he said. "At the beginning, I didn't have the feeling Barcelona really wanted me. But they said you have a good chance of being a starter and it was really easy for me.”

But taking over Messi’s throne will not be as easy as it may appear. Although he has the natural knack to take the helm in Barca, de Jong recognizes that he must work his way up first before the Catalan’s star captain yields the whip hand over to him.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi confirmed the players will take a 70 per cent pay cut during Spain's state of alarm
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi confirmed the players will take a 70 per cent pay cut during Spain's state of alarm AFP / LLUIS GENE