De Jong feared for safety
Nigel de Jong has admitted he was dismayed by the reaction to his challenge on Xabi Alonso at the World Cup.
Last Updated: 22/04/11 6:16pm
Nigel de Jong has admitted he was dismayed by the reaction to his ugly challenge on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final.
The Holland midfielder escaped a sending-off for his chest-high kick on the Spaniard as English referee Howard Webb decided to hand out just a yellow card.
De Jong has repeatedly stated that he was lucky not to be given his marching orders in an ill-tempered match which Holland eventually lost.
However, the Manchester City player still had to deal with fierce criticism both at home and abroad after the tournament, claiming that he was treated 'like a war criminal'.
De Jong told De Volkskrant: "At no time did I see Xabi Alonso because I was focused only on the ball.
"Actually, when I think back about it, it was not good at all. Of course the referee (Howard Webb) should have shown a red card for the foul. That is obvious."
The incident left De Jong fearing for his safety.
"I had the feeling that there were people who wanted to harm me," he said.
"I've been public enemy number one on many occasions. Honestly, people treated me like a war criminal. It was an unpleasant sensation."