Brotherly Rivalry-Luuk and Siem de Jong

Oranje,the inventors of Total Football have always had a special team most teams do not have. Over  the past 30 years they’ve had footballing brothers representing the national team;René van de Kerkhof and Willy van de Kerkhof in the 70s,Erwin Koeman and Ronald Koeman in the 80s and Ronald de boer and Frank de Boer in the 90s.Now de Jong brothers (Siem and Luuk) want to play for the national team.

There is a lot of attention in the Netherlands for Siem and Luuk, who both play at top clubs. Occasionally it gets a little monotonous, but on the other hand it is also something special.Ajax and FC Twente will meet twice in 7 days.The first game deciding who will win the KNVB Beker and the second will determine the winner of the Eredivisie in Amsterdam.

It happened to one Johan Cruyff. Marco van Basten. John van’t Schip. Gerald Vanenburg. Richard Witschge. Rafael van der Vaart. Wesley Sneijder.

And sometimes a player is brought on and the whole stadium wonders.“Why the hell does this kid wear the Ajax jersey??” Dennis Bergkamp had that. Edgar Davids. Jari Litmanen. It takes a while for the average fan to recognize the brilliance. Or it takes their team mates a while to recognize it.

Siem de Jong is no Marco van Basten. Certainly no Rafael van der Vaart. Lanky, slow, uninterested. And very ordinary looking.Siem de Jong is like Jari Litmanen.Although he did score in his debut game. And so did Jari by the way.Last two summers, he was offered out on loan to whoever wanted to have him. No club took the bite. Last season, he was the revelation in the Arena, scoring goal after goal after goal.

The 22 year old was born in Aigle, Switzerland to Dutch parents and moved back to the Netherlands at age six. Siem de Jong started his football career at the Doetinchem amateur club DZC’68 and was scouted by De Graafschap, when he was 12. He grew up in Doetinchem and graduated from the same school (het Rietveld Lyceum) as Guus Hiddink, Paul Bosvelt and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, which grants him immediate university access (he has considered studying economics). He played with De Graafschap until 2005, when he was picked up by the Ajax youth academy.

De Jong is one of several players in the current first team to come through the youth system. In 2007–08, he was one of the youngest players and the only player under age 20 to play more than 20 games.

During the beginning of the 2009–10, de Jong was often used as an impact substitute and only started in Europa League games. He eventually earned his place in the starting eleven. In January, he scored the winner in the last few minutes of extra time to send Ajax through to the semifinals of the Dutch Cup. On 21 February, he scored a brace against Vitesse Arnhem in a 4–0 win to keep Ajax’s push for a Champions League spot alive.

His first ever Ajax goal reminded all in the Arena of Jari Litmanen. Quansah was surprised to see De Jong appear.Van der Wiel’s cross was perfect, Siem only had to nod “yes”.De Jong heard the comparison with the Finnish legend before. “Whenever you spot the right moment, speed is relative. I always watched Dennis and Jari play. Their strength was that: seeing the space, recognizing the moment.My movement is modeled on their game.”

Not bad after being told you can play somewhere else for a while. Martin Jol clearly didn’t understand what to do with Siem. Last two seasons, Siem de Jong played as left midfielder, as shadowstriker and as right full back. What was his spot?

With Siem de Jong in the squad, Ajax’s comeback to the top of the standings was initiated by Jol offering De Jong a starting position last season. Adrie Koster, who worked as interim successor to Marco van Basten : “I saw De Jong as an alternative to Wesley Sneijder. He sees the game, has depth, a good shot with left and right. He can head the ball too, Wesley couldn’t. Actually, Siem de Jong can do a lot!”.

Siem won the KNVB Cup with Ajax last season and he was the Eredivisie’s young player of the season last year.He has been exceptional this season and it was his assist that ensured Ajax’s victory over Heerenveen last week to keep the Amsterdam in contention for the Double (Eredivisie and KNVB Beker).He has scored 10 goals in 30 games for Ajax.

And the midfielder brings a perfect top sport attitude to the game. Both his parents were international volleyball players for Holland. “Siem is brought up in a modest sports family, oozing in motivation and mentality.

And another de Jong came from that nest. 20 year old Luuk de Jong is NKufo’s successor at FC Twente. One of the two De Jong’s will win the Eredivisie or the KNVB Beker or both this year. Born in Aigle, Switzerland, Luuk de Jong moved to the Netherlands when he was 4-years old.

The player who has been FC Twente’s most improved player is Luuk de Jong. The 20-year-old striker has become one of the key players of the reigning champions and he has already made ​​his Oranje debut. Luuk has scored 11 goals in 30 Eredivisie games for the Enschede side this season.De Jong started his footballing career with amateur club, DZC’68 together with his brother Siem. They were both picked up by professional side, De Graafschap. Siem was scouted by Ajax when playing in De Graafschap’s youth, while Luuk remained loyal to the club.

He made his Eredivisie debut in a match versus NAC Breda coming on as a substitute. Luuk de Jong made his first Eredivisie goal in a home match against FC Twente he scored the 2–1.

On April 6, 2009 it was confirmed that Luuk de Jong signed a contract for 3 years with an option for another year with FC Twente. His contract would start on the first of July 2009.

Because Blaise N’Kufo was injured last season, Luuk deserved a starting spot against Werder Bremen in the knockout stage (32 teams) of the Europa League. Luuk scored his first goal in the Europa League for FC Twente in the away game against Werder Bremen. FC Twente were already 3–0 behind when Luuk headed the 3–1 past goalkeeper Christian Vander.

Luuk was very important in the Johan Cruyff Schaal scoring the winning goal against Ajax in the 8th minute. He started the match because Marc Janko was injured. Luuk intercepted a pass from Maarten Stekelenburg to Gregory van der Wiel and then stayed calm and scored the 1-0 which would also be the final score.I remember that game like yesterday.

Luuk de Jong received his first call-up for Oranje’s senior team for the friendly against Austria on February 9, 2011 and made his debut in the same match, replacing Dirk Kuijt.

The sky is the limit for de Jongs.


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