Football News

Matthijs de Ligt explains what could make him join Juventus over Barcelona

By Chris Smith

Published: 10:14, 1 April 2019

Ajax sensation Matthijs de Ligt has admitted he ‘could join Juventus’ and that the Italian champions have ‘some of the best defenders in the world’.

The 19-year-old has undertaken a meteoric rise during the past two-and-a-half seasons, making 105 appearances for Ajax and firmly establishing himself as the most in-demand young defender in Europe.

De Ligt to Juve? Five key things to know…

  1. De Ligt, 19,  has already played 105 times for Ajax.
  2. His form has seen him win 15 caps for the Netherlands and he is now linked with the likes of Barcelona and Juventus.
  3. De Ligt has named Juve’s Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini as two of the world’s best defenders.
  4. The youngster has also admitted he ‘could join Juventus’ in the summer.
  5. Ajax face Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final clash later this month.

De Ligt has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Juventus in recent months and will take on the latter with Ajax in the club’s upcoming Champions League quarter-final clash.

And during an interview with Italian outlet, Tuttosport, De Ligt has heaped praise upon the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

“I really like Chiellini, as he is one of the best defenders in the world. I also appreciate Bonucci, so between them they are among the best centre-backs in Europe,” said the Netherlands international.

“For a young player like me, they are both examples to be inspired by. I am pleased with comparisons to Alessandro Nesta and Jaap Stam, as they were top players, but I have a long way to go in order to reach their level.

“Nesta was a fantastic defender and I also watch videos of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. The Italian school of defending was always the best.”

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De Ligt was then asked if he could soon be joining Bonucci and Chiellini in Turin.

“It could be, but there are other clubs interested too,” he responded. “We’ll see at the right moment, but now I am focused on Ajax and not my future. My agent Mino Raiola is taking care of that.

“I met Raiola in January 2017 and he said he wanted me with him because he admired me and had a lot of faith in my potential. I already knew of his important reputation, thought about if for a bit and then accepted. I am very happy with my decision.”

De Ligt: Champions League pressure is on Juventus

Ajax host the Old Lady in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on April 10, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paolo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic set to be formidable opponents for the young Amsterdam side.

However, it is exactly that which De Ligt feels gives Ajax a quiet advantage in the tie, with expectations firmly set on a Juve win against an inexperienced team at this level.

He added: “Juventus are a great team. We believe in our chances of qualifying for the Champions League semi-finals because we are young and have less pressure on our shoulders.”

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