Top facts about Nigel de Jong, the Destroyer

Mon 17 January 2022 | 11:30

Nigel de Jong was a combative midfielder and the enforcer at the heart of Roberto Mancini's Premier League title-winning squad, who ensured the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure could flourish. Read on to learn more about Nigel de Jong, the Lawnmower.

Nigel de Jong (born November 30, 1984) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder and current English language pundit for beIN Sports, covering Premier League and Champions League football.

The first fact about Nigel de Jong is that he is known as "The Destroyer" and "The Lawnmower" because of his playing style; he is also known as "De Slager."

Nigel de Jong's age

is 37, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

De Jong was an experienced defensive midfielder that could cover ground and was known for his tenacious style of play. Despite his reputation for pushing the game's laws, he only received one red card in his professional career.

He is also an adept passer of the ball and finished the 2010-11 English Premier League season with the highest passing percentage (90%) of the top 50 players.

De Jong is no stranger to on-field success, having formed part of the essential defensive bedrock which helped

Manchester City

to end a 35-year drought for major silverware in 2011 and, one year later, became well-known all over the world with a maiden Premier League title.

Top facts about Nigel de Jong:

Nigel De Jong was a crucial figure during the 2010 World Cup for the


, making six starts. He also featured for the Dutch in Euro 2012 and made five appearances in the 2014 World Cup. He currently has 81 caps and one goal for the Oranje.

Nigel de Jong's early life

The facts about Nigel de Jong's family are that his father is Jerry de Jong; he was a football player too, and he played for 17 years; it is also worth noting that he played for seven different clubs.

He played as a defender. About Nigel's mother, we should say that his mother is Marja Goldberg. He doesn't have any siblings, and he is the only child of the family.

Nigel de Jong's personal life

The top fact about his personal life is that De Jong is married to Winonah, a model and fashion designer with whom he has two children. Nigel de Jong got married in 2004. He owns a specialist car dealership (Continental Cars) operating in Europe (Hamburg) and the Middle East.


fact about Nigel de Jong

is that he has two children: Kyan de Jong, who is five years old, and Isaura de Jong, who is seven years old.

Another fact about Nigel de Jong's business is that he has good cooperation with the Fly Emirates, and he mostly works with two of his best friends called Mario Balotelli and Diego Lopez Rodrigues.

Nigel de Jong's professional career

Nigel De Jong started his career with Ajax and Hamburg before signing with Manchester City in 2009. He eventually helped the team capture the 2011-12 Premier League title before moving on to Italy with

AC Milan

, where he played for three and a half seasons.

De Jong was a beaten World Cup finalist with the Netherlands in 2010, and also finished third in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. De Jong is also a Premier League and FA Cup winner with Manchester City after spending three years at the Etihad between 2009 and 2012.

He was part of the City side that won the FA Cup in 2011, and the Premier League a year later. The midfielder still plies his trade in the Qatar second division, anchoring the midfield for Al Shahania.

Nigel de Jong's club career

There are some facts about Nigel de Jong's career that in the following paragraphs will be mentioned.

The top fact about Nigel de Jong's football career is that he played in various clubs in different countries (namely: Netherlands, England, Germany, Italy, and Qatar).

An interesting

fact about De Jong

is that he joined the Ajax youth academy as a youngster and worked his way through the ranks to make the first team at age 17. Two years later, he made his international debut and obtained 81 caps between 2004 and 2015, scoring one goal.

He took part in two European Championships and two editions of the FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands, winning a World Cup runners-up medal in 2010 and a bronze medal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

A fact about him is that De Jong moved on from Ajax in 2006 to join Hamburg in search of first-team football and then moved to Manchester City in January 2009 for an estimated £18 million, where he became an important part of City's holding midfield.

A tireless grafter, he has garnered a reputation of being a combative and feisty player in his performances, a reputation that has earned him nicknames such as "The Destroyer" and "Lawnmower."

He moved to the Italian side A.C. Milan in August 2012, where he spent three and half years, before moving to MLS side

LA Galaxy

in February 2016. He subsequently had spells with Galatasaray in Turkey, Mainz 05 in Germany, and Al Ahli and Al-Shahania in Qatar.

It is considerable to note that De Jong was born in Amsterdam. He is of Surinamese-Dutch descent; Surinamese parentage from his father and Dutch and Indonesian from his mother. His father is former Dutch international Jerry de Jong.

On October 19, 2002, De Jong made his debut for the Ajax first team. He scored the first goal of his senior career on February 18, 2003, in a 1–1 draw against


in the Champions League.

He became a first-team regular the following season, in which Ajax won the Eredivisie title. In 2004–05, his last full season in Amsterdam, De Jong was named Ajax Player of the Season.

After a period when he appeared regularly in midfield, he found himself sitting on the bench more often than being in the starting line-up. On December 7, 2005, it was announced that De Jong did not wish to extend his contract with Ajax, which was due to end in July 2006.

On January 26, 2006, De Jong signed a four and a half-year contract at Bundesliga club Hamburg, with a transfer fee of approximately €1 million. At Hamburg, he joined two other Dutchmen: Rafael van der Vaart and Khalid Boulahrouz. He made his Hamburg debut two days later in a 2–1 defeat at Nürnberg.

In March 2006, De Jong scored the winning goal in Bayern Munich's first-ever defeat at the Allianz Arena. The following week he received the first red card of his career for a second booking in a UEFA Cup match against Rapid București.

His season was cut short in April when he required surgery on a knee problem. The injury also kept him out of the Dutch squad for the 2006 World Cup, though he was later put on standby after regaining fitness.

On January 21, 2009, De Jong was signed to Manchester City for an estimated fee of £18 million by manager Mark Hughes who deployed him in the role of midfield enforcer in a team whose defense badly needed reinforcement. He signed a four-and-a-half-year contract and was assigned the number 34 shirt.

He made his debut for the club against Newcastle United on January 28, 2009. He made sixteen appearances in the Premier League over the second half of the season. De Jong was given a start against Arsenal on September 12, 2009. He was named Man of the Match by Sky Sports in a 2–1 win over


on December 5, 2009.

By the end of the season, he had become a firm fans' favorite and was one of new manager

Roberto Mancini

's first picks as a defensive midfielder as the team narrowly missed out on a Champions League berth. De Jong scored his first goal for Manchester City in a 2–1 victory against West Ham United on May 1, 2011.

De Jong was a member of the City side, which won the 2010–11 FA Cup and the 2011–12 Premier League, making 137 appearances and scoring twice before being sold to A.C. Milan in August 2012.

On August 31, 2012, De Jong joined the Italian club Milan for £3.5 million, rising to £5 million depending on appearances, signing a three-year deal. On September 1, De Jong made his debut against


. De Jong scored his first goal for Milan in a 3–2 loss against Lazio on October 20.

On May 4, 2014, De Jong scored his second goal for Milan, the winning goal against Inter Milan in the Derby Della Madonnina at the San Siro. On June 26, 2015, Milan announced De Jong had signed a contract extension to keep him at the club until 2018.

On January 31, 2016, it was reported that De Jong had negotiated to terminate his contract with Milan and joined LA Galaxy on a free transfer, signing a one-year deal. De Jong was involved in a controversial incident in a game against the Portland Timbers on April 10, 2016, when a strong tackle by De Jong left Darlington Nagbe injured and in need of treatment.

De Jong was only shown a yellow card by referee Allen Chapman but was later suspended for three games. De Jong received a red card after a bad tackle on Blas Perez on July 5, 2016, although, with a man down, the Galaxy was still able to hold on for the win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

On August 29, the Galaxy announced that they and the Dutch midfielder mutually agreed to terminate de Jong's contract, freeing the 31-year-old to sign with Turkey's



According to the Turkish club, there was no transfer fee involved in the trade agreement. De Jong reportedly would have been tagged as a Designated Player for the upcoming 2017 season.

He appeared in 18 regular-season contests for Los Angeles, failing to record a goal or an assist in regular season play but establishing himself as a starting presence as a defensive midfielder.

On August 31, 2016, De Jong signed for Turkish outfit Galatasaray on a two-year deal. On January 5, 2018, his contract was terminated by the Turkish club.

On January 5, 2018, De Jong agreed with a free transfer to Bundesliga side Mainz 05. In July 2018, De Jong moved to Qatari club Al Ahli. In July 2019, he moved to Qatari club Al-Shahania.

Nigel de Jong's international career

About Nigel de Jong's international career, there are some facts that can be read in the following section.

On March 31, 2004, De Jong made his debut with the Netherlands in a friendly game against


. He was overlooked for the squad that went to play in UEFA Euro 2004 and missed the 2006 FIFA World Cup with a knee injury.

He was selected by Marco van Basten to play for the Oranje at UEFA Euro 2008. During the tournament, he was played as a "screening midfielder," partnering with Orlando Engelaar in central midfield. This resulted in De Jong playing three out of the four games that saw the Netherlands reach the quarter-final stage, where they lost to Russia.

De Jong scored his first international goal against Iceland on June 6, 2009, in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, which sealed the Netherlands' passage to the 2010 World Cup.

De Jong was part of the Dutch team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup managed by Bert van Marwijk. The player was in the starting line-up for their first match in the competition, a 2–0 victory over Denmark.

He was suspended in the semi-final against


after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in the Netherlands' quarter-final win over Brazil.

He played in the Final of the competition, in which the Netherlands lost 1–0 to Spain after extra time. In the early stages of the match, De Jong made a chest-high challenge on

Xabi Alonso

, with his studs making contact with the Spaniard's ribs. Referee Howard Webb later stated that he would have sent off De Jong if he'd had a better view of the incident.

De Jong was part of the Netherlands UEFA Euro 2012 squad. The Dutch were eliminated in the first round after losing all three matches.

He was also selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where he was in the starting line-up for all three group matches. However, a groin injury led to his substitution in the 9th minute of the round of a 16 match win over Mexico, and it was later confirmed that De Jong would be unable to take any further part in the tournament.

Despite this, he later recovered to play 62 minutes of the semi-final against Argentina, in which the Netherlands lost 4–2 on a penalty shoot-out, following a 0–0 draw after extra-time.


fact about Nigel de Jong

 is that he began his career as an offensive-minded creative midfielder or forward. At Ajax, he played a number of positions, including central midfield and right-wing.

De Jong credits his conversion to a defensive-minded player to Huub Stevens, under whom he played at Hamburg. Described as a "tireless grafter" by The Telegraph, his work rate and tenacity, combined with his new approach to midfield play, earned him the nicknames "der Rasenmäher" ("the Lawnmower"), "The Terrier," and "The Destroyer."

De Jong is typically the most defensively oriented midfielder in his team. When his team's defenders are in possession of the ball, De Jong will often drop back towards them to receive it.

Sometimes De Jong is the sole holding midfielder, but often he plays alongside another defensive player, such as Gareth Barry at Manchester City or Mark van Bommel for the Dutch national team.

In addition to his defensive capabilities and ability to cover ground, De Jong was also a competent passer; he had the highest passing completion percentage in the Premier League in the 2010–11 season out of the top 50 players (90%).

Despite his ability and reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world at his peak, De Jong has also drawn criticism over his feisty, physical, and combative playing style, including from his former Dutch national team manager Van Marwijk.

During an international friendly on March 3, 2010, De Jong fractured the leg of Bolton Wanderers' American international Stuart Holden as the result of a late challenge.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, he kicked Spanish player Xabi Alonso in the chest, a challenge for which De Jong admitted he was lucky not to have received a red card. On October 3, 2010, in a Premier League match against Newcastle United, a tackle by De Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa resulted in the latter being carried off the pitch with a double fracture of his left tibia and fibula.

De Jong was later dropped from the Dutch national team by his coach Van Marwijk for an unspecified period of time but was later reprieved.

During his time at Manchester City, however, De Jong was never shown a red card. Indeed, despite his reputation as an aggressive and hard-tackling player.

De Jong's first official direct card of his career came with Milan, in a 1–1 away draw against Verona in Serie A on December 13, 2015; previously, he had only been sent off once in an official game, namely for two bookable offenses in a match for Hamburg against Rapid Bucharest in the 2005–06 edition of the UEFA Cup, while his only direct red card had come against

Werder Bremen

, in the semi-finals of the 2006 DFL-Ligapokal.

In April 2016, while playing for the LA Galaxy, De Jong was involved in another controversial incident when a strong takedown led to Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe being removed from the field with an injury. The tackle led to a 3-game suspension for De Jong after the disciplinary committee determined the action to have been "a clear and unequivocal red card."

In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked De Jong tenth in its list of the world's dirtiest footballers. This style of play earned him a title as the most violent footballer in the world, according to the French newspaper L'Équipe.

Nigel de Jong style of play

At Ajax, he played center midfield and right flank, among other positions. Huub Stevens, under whom De Jong played at Hamburg, is credited with transforming him into a defensive-minded player.

The Telegraph described him as a "tireless grafter," and his work ethic and toughness, paired with his unique style to midfield play, earned him the nicknames "der Rasenmäher," "The Terrier," and "The Destroyer."

De Jong was usually his team's most defensively minded midfielder. De Jong would often drop back towards his team's defenders to receive the ball when they have it.

De Jong could play alone as a holding midfielder, although he often teamed up with another defensive player, such as Manchester City's Gareth Barry or the Dutch national team's Mark van Bommel.

De Jong was a capable passer in addition to his defensive qualities and ability to cover territory; out of the top 50 players in the Premier League in the 2010–11 season, he had the best passing completion rate (90 percent).

Despite his talent and reputation as one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world during his height, De Jong's fiery, aggressive, and confrontational playing style has garnered criticism, especially from his former Dutch national team manager Bert van Marwijk.

De Jong shattered the leg of Bolton Wanderers' American international Stuart Holden during an international friendly on March 3, 2010, as a consequence of a late challenge.

He kicked Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso in the chest in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, a challenge for which De Jong stated he was fortunate not to be sent off. De Jong's challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa in a Premier League match against Newcastle United on October 3, 2010, resulted in Ben Arfa being taken off the game with a double fracture of his left tibia and fibula.

Van Marwijk subsequently dismissed De Jong from the Dutch national squad for an undisclosed amount of time, although he was eventually reinstated. De Jong, on the other hand, never received a red card throughout his tenure at Manchester City.

Despite his reputation as a hard-charging and aggressive player, De Jong's first official direct card came in a 1–1 Serie A away draw against Verona on December 13, 2015; previously, he had only been sent off once in an official game, for two bookable offenses in a match for Hamburg against Rapid Bucharest in the 2005–06 UEFA Cup, and his only direct red card had come against Werder Bremen in the semi-finals of the 2006 DFL-Ligapokal.

De Jong was engaged in another contentious incident in April 2016 when playing for the LA Galaxy, when he was involved in a forceful takedown that resulted in Portland Timbers player Darlington Nagbe being taken off the field with an injury.

After the disciplinary committee ruled that the tackle was "a clear and unambiguous red card," De Jong was given a three-game ban.

El Gol Digital, a Spanish football website, placed De Jong seventh on its list of the world's dirtiest players in December 2013.

According to the French publication L'Équipe, his style of play earned him the distinction of "most vicious footballer in the world."

Some quick facts about Nigel de Jong:

De Jong may have developed a reputation as one of the world's most feared midfield enforcers, but he started his career considerably higher up the field.

De Jong won the Dutch Eredivisie championship in 2004 and the Johan Cruyff Shield and AFC Ajax Player of the Year in 2005, although he did it as a creative midfielder and even a striker for his first club Ajax. He wasn't converted until 2007 in Hamburg, under the careful supervision of fellow countryman Huub Stevens.

Despite ten years of defending the defense, De Jong has 21 senior professional goals to his credit. However, De Jong's method focuses on quality rather than quantity.

He scored his first goal for Ajax against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League when he was 18 years old; he scored the winner for HSV against Bayern in the Allianz Arena in March 2006; he scored his first and only international goal against Iceland in 2010 to secure the Netherlands' ticket to South Africa; and he scored the winner for Milan against Inter in the Derby Della Madonnina in May 2014.

Jerry, Nigel's father, was a defensive midfielder who most famously played for

PSV Eindhoven

. Although not reaching the same heights as his son, De Jong senior did represent the Netherlands three times.

After De Jong junior joined the Ajax youth program at the age of eight, the two were separated, but they reconciled when the younger became a parent in 2009.

"When I was a kid, my dad was my ultimate hero, and I would sit in front of the TV for hours watching his football games on tape. After becoming a parent, I contacted my father, and he was soon there in my doorway. He was just what I needed. We're all descended from the same ancestor." He said in an interview.

De Jong, born on November 30, 1984, shares his birthday with the first-ever international football match, which took place at Hamilton Park Crescent in Glasgow in 1872.

Gary Lineker, the 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner and current host of Match of Day, was born on this day in 1960, while Evel Knieval, the American stuntman who died at the age of 69 after a dangerous career that would have made even De Jong grimace, died on this day in 2007.

Away from the field, De Jong is the co-founder and CEO of Continental Cars, a specialty vehicle dealership in Hamburg that sells Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins and has a clientele that includes fellow professional players and Gulf state oil sheiks.

Thanks to De Jong's support, Winonah, De Jong's wife, also started a fashion brand when the pair was in Milan. "Some people think players are too thick and too dim to be entrepreneurs," De Jong added. "However, when I identify a firm with promise, I push the boundaries and go all-in."

Nigel de Jong's social media


Nigel de Jong's social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 538k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him with the fans and his family. He also has a Twitter account (


) with more than 815K followers.

Nigel de Jong's body measurements

Speaking about

Nigel de Jong's body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 174 cm and weighs 72 kg. Nigel de Jong's favorite color is black.

The top facts about his body detail are that his feet size is 12 and Nigel de Jong's biceps is 28, bust size is 160, and his butt size is 134.

A fact about Nigel de Jong's body is that he has many tattoos on his neck, body, and hands.

Top facts about Nigel de Jong's body features are listed below:

At first, it should be noted that his hair is black, but he is mostly bold. Second of all, Nigel de Jong's skin tone is Type III (medium skin), and his skin type is normal. Another fact about Nigel De Jong's appearance is that he is mostly beardless, and his eye is dark brown.

Nigel de Jong's net worth and salary


Nigel De Jong's net worth

, it is worth mentioning that he owns 17 million Euro. He earns 3 million Euros per year.

De Jong already boasts plenty of experience in business, stemming from his involvement as CEO of Continental Cars, a hugely successful specialist car dealership based in Hamburg which he helped to establish at just 23 years old in 2007. With an economics degree also in tow, De Jong has demonstrated a keen eye for life away from the field.

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