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Luuk de Jong on Sevilla, PSV and his 2020 final memories

"With our quality, anything is possible," says the PSV captain as he readies himself for a visit to his old side Sevilla, with whom he won the 2020 Europa League final.

Luuk de Jong celebrates a group stage win for PSV
Luuk de Jong celebrates a group stage win for PSV Getty Images

A star performer for PSV from 2014 to 2019, when he captained the side to three Dutch titles, Luuk de Jong returned to Eindhoven in the summer, following a spell in Spain during which he helped Sevilla to win the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, scoring twice in the 3-2 final defeat of Inter Milan.

Team captain once more, the 32-year-old striker is on the trophy trail again, though he has been thrown something of a curveball as his side take on his old employers, Sevilla, in their knockout round play-off tie, which kicks off on Thursday 16 February.

Sevilla vs PSV: Latest updates
De Jong returns to Sevilla

On his return to PSV

That was an easy choice. That first period at PSV was great for me. I have always been very comfortable at the club and with the fans. It feels like home here. I had a year left on my contract with Sevilla. There was no guarantee that I would be playing, so that made it an easy choice for me to return to PSV and, hopefully, be successful here now.

I still have more or less the same role as before: as captain and as an experienced player. Even in those last few years at PSV, I was also one of the older players, so that hasn't changed all that much. You try to teach the guys what is needed to win trophies, to get the best out of yourself every day and never give up. Throughout my career, that's who I've been.

2020 Europa League final highlights: Sevilla 3-2 Inter

On winning the 2020 Europa League with Sevilla

It was a fantastic time. Especially from the semi-finals onwards when we played against Manchester United, and coming on as a sub and then scoring the winning goal – and then you are in the starting XI in the final, score twice and go on to win the Europa League. That's fantastic. People saw us as the underdogs, when playing Inter Milan – maybe even in the semi-finals against Manchester [United] as well – but that doesn't mean that you're not in with a chance.

I was substituted in the final minutes, so you're on the bench, hoping the guys will hold on to the lead. I knew they could do it and when the referee blew the final whistle, that feeling is something you need to experience; I can't put it into words. Winning such a trophy with your team and having worked hard for it all season, but also in the midst of COVID, which changed the entire set-up, it made it a great achievement. How long do those memories stay with you? Oh, for a very long time. The success, the joy, your own accomplishment – those will never fade.

PSV stars on Van Nistelrooy

On the prospect of winning the Europa League again with PSV

It's still a competition with a group stage and a knockout stage; anything can happen if you're strong as a team at the right moment. With our quality, anything is possible and you always have to have the belief. Perhaps with Sevilla, we also didn't expect to make the final and go on to win the final – but, as a team, you must believe in it and that's what we're doing now too. We'll see how far we will get and we'll give it our all.

De Jong delight after Sevilla winner