Frenkie de Jong has revealed that Barcelona asked him to eliminate Real Madrid from the Champions League, when he agreed to join the Blaugrana earlier this year.
After impressing at Ajax, De Jong agreed a pre-contract deal with Barcelona earlier this year and is set to join the Catalan giants in the summer. For the time being, the young midfielder has the small matter of a Champions League round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid on the horizon.
In an interview with Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf, De Jong was asked if he had received any advice from Barcelona ahead of his visit to the Bernebeu, to which he replied: "Only during my contract signing, they said 'try to knock out Real'. That would also be great for Barça, of course."
Ajax are 2-1 down heading into Tuesday evening's clash and are understandably underdogs to progress given Real's impressive European pedigree. However De Jong is remaining confident about Ajax's chances.
"Real Madrid is obviously a big favourite, because they play at home, have won the away match and have held the cup four times in the last five years.
"Let me put it this way: it is not yet top, but we are back in a slightly better phase and have not given up the quarter finals of the Champions League yet. If we have a very good day, I certainly see opportunities.
"We have to play offensively, put pressure and play football. If everyone participates, we have enough quality to surprise you here."
De Jong also discussed the incident involving Sergio Ramos, after the Real captain was banned for the second leg after intentionally receiving a booking in the first leg in Amsterdam: "If we eventually win, he might regret it."