Monday, July 12, 2010

His World Cup Finished, Nigel De Jong Looks Forward to Hurting People in Real Life

Johannesburg - Combative Netherlands and Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong admitted he found a silver lining amid the gloom of World Cup Final defeat at the hands of Spain: he'll now have plenty of time to scythe, chop, and cleave pedestrians, strangers, and "Anyone who happens by," the 25-year-old said.

"I'm a footballer, first and foremost, and I love my job. But during games, I'm limited to just the eleven opposition players and three substitutes, and maybe the assistant referee, if he's not paying attention. But now, with a few weeks' holiday before I join up with Manchester City, I'll be able to tackle, stamp, kick, or elbow anybody I see. Anywhere."

De Jong's midfield partner, Mark van Bommel, is also relishing the chance to "Get his digs in" before his new season at Bayern Munich. "The problem with footballers is that they're always watching you, waiting for you to run at them at full speed and then try to take away their standing leg with a tendon-crunching lunge. But middle-aged men in the streets, or teenagers, they often don't see you coming."

Though the Oranje have their critics for their strong-armed tactics, van Bommel and De Jong both insisted that they had little choice.

"We knew from previous games that Spain were capable of scoring as many as one goal," van Bommel said. "So we had no intention of just sitting there and letting them score it."

About escaping a red card for his assault on Alonso, De Jong shrugged and said, "Howard Webb knows it was only Xabi Alonso."