Last night’s Champions League match between European heavyweights Barcelona and Bayern Munich was expected to deliver a multitude of storylines and it certainly did not disappoint.
While the Spanish giants started fairly well and on the front foot, it was the German club which came away with a victory, thanks to a quick-fire double in the second half from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane.
One of the talking points pre-match was Robert Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz arena. The striker had as many as seven shots but failed to convert any.
Another was Bayern’s 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the Champions League 20/21 season and whether a repeat of the same was on the cards.
However, one unlikely conversation point came during the build-up to the match as Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong were seen talking to each other on the pitch.
The two Dutch internationals not only play alongside when on national duty, but have played with each other at the club level before.
The duo was part of Ajax’s development team in the 2016-17 season and then represented the parent team till 2019.
Having won the Eredivisie, Netherland’s premier football league, in 2019, the pair moved on to fresher pastures.
De Jong was sold to Barcelona and De Ligt to Juventus, each for €75 million. De Ligt then moved on to Bayern Munich in the 2022 window for a fee of €67 million.
The pair on the field together was a nostalgic moment for fans, who were reminiscing their title-winning season for Ajax.
However, Twitter never disappoints and turned this moment into an opportunity to take digs at the two players.
The two players were not starting for their teams, with managers instead benching them in favour of other players.
De Jong and de Ligt were on the “de” bench, as social media lightly put it.
A possible reason for them being out of the starting XI could be the fact that they started the club’s previous match.
Twitter was quick to associate this “benched” aspect with another Dutch midfielder Van de Beek of Manchester United.
This friendly encounter quickly backfired for De Jong, who had previously rejected Manchester United even after their very public pursuit of the player.
Frenkie did eventually make his way on the pitch, playing for 29 minutes but not creating any impact.
De Ligt, on the other hand, did not see any game time and spent the entirety of the 90 minutes watching from the sidelines.
With plenty of matches still left in the season, the Dutch duo would be hoping to get more involved in football and have fewer memes made about them.