A defensive midfielder who often plays alongside van Bommel in a 4-2-3-1 formation, De Jong was a key member of the Euro 2008 squad, his first international tournament after a knee injury ruled him out of the 2006 World Cup.
His first international goal came against Iceland in the game that sealed Holland’s passage to South Africa. His dad Jerry was a Holland right-back who played under Sir Bobby Robson at PSV.
After he broke the leg of USA midfielder Stuart Holden in a friendly in March, De Jong was warned by Van Marwijk to clean up his game or he could jeopardise the team’s World Cup hopes.
De Jong was raised in the tough Surinamese immigrant community of Amsterdam-West. He began his career at Ajax, winning the league title in 2004 before joining Hamburg in 2006 to link up with fellow Dutchman Rafael van de Vaart.
In January 2009 Mark Hughes paid £17m to bring him to Manchester City. This season he made 34 Premier League appearances as City finished narrowly missed out on a Champions League spot.
He trained as a kick boxer in his youth and also runs a successful luxury car importing business.
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