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Nigel de Jong says he was missing European football

CARSON, CA - MARCH 06:  Nigel de Jong #34 of Los Angeles Galaxy puts on a practice jersey during warm up prior to their MLS match against D.C. United at St
Image: Nigel de Jong moved to LA from Milan in the January window

Nigel de Jong says he signed a two-year deal with Galatasaray because he was missing European football.

De Jong joined the Turkish giants on a free transfer on deadline day after less than half a year with LA Galaxy.

The MLS side agreed to terminate the tough-tackling Dutch midfielder's contract before a clause saw De Jong's wages soar to the multi-million dollar range of a Designated Player in 2017.

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"I stayed six months in Los Angeles. I wanted to return to Europe again," De Jong told Galatasaray's in-house TV channel. 

"I love football and I am a football guy. Galatasaray gave me the chance to return to a European atmosphere."

Wesley Sneijder's Galatasaray side will not be playing in Europe this season
Image: Wesley Sneijder left Inter for Galatasaray in 2013

The former Milan, Manchester City, Hamburg and Ajax enforcer will be reunited in Istanbul with Netherlands team-mate Wesley Sneijder.

"I am very happy to be playing in the same team as him. He is a great fighter and someone who loves to win," said De Jong, adding he had called Sneijder ahead of the move.

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De Jong's combative style - as seen in his notorious chest high studs-out challenge on Spain's Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final - did not always go down well in the MLS and the 31-year-old may find a better home in the rough-and-tumble of the Turkish Super Lig.

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Watch this X-rated tackle from De Jong in the Galaxy's draw against the Portland Timbers in April

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