|Name||Matthijs de Ligt|
|Org||Dutch National Team|
|Club as Player||Juventus|
2019 09 06 Retrieve
[Being left on the bench for Juventus’s opening match should not have come as a big surprise, especially with Bonucci and Chiellini having already formed a reliable defensive partnership for years] The criticism that comes at you via social media if you do not play one match does not affect me, but I do read it. And to be honest, it surprises me. My reserve role just fits into the process of a young boy going to a top European club.
[De Ligt is not naive, he knows he can improve in all aspects of his game; technically, tactically and physically. It is a challenge he relishes and something that excited him when he went through his medical at Juventus’s state-of-the-art J Medical facility] The medical lasted 90 minutes and they even checked up on my teeth. The most interesting thing for me was that they could also see how much potential I have physically. The outcome of that was a positive surprise, because there is a lot of unfulfilled potential still. I would rather hear that I still have 60 per cent room for growth than to find out I am already at 90% of my potential. There is still a lot of room for improvement. It’s now all about fulfilling that potential. If you look at Cristiano Ronaldo and some of the other stars, they are perfect role models. They show me how much I can still gain by looking after my body even better
2019 09 24 Retrieve
[De Ligt ‘really happy’ with Juventus choice despite testing start to life in Turin] There have been many changes but it is going well, I am really happy with the choice I made in the summer when I signed for Juventus. I am learning Italian. Both the language and the football, very different, compared to the Dutch one. I am very happy to be here. It’s really nice to receive an award with the votes of the other players, it’s a great recognition. It was an exciting and enormously proud moment to get on stage with those players, some of whom are literally living legends. It is a great honour to be here. I was lucky enough to have played with both Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo, but frankly I can’t choose between the two.
2019 12 26 Retrieve
[De Ligt hope to stay at Juventus for a long time] I’m very happy in Turin, I hope to stay here for a long time. I was really proud [to join Juventus] of course, when a big club like Juve want you it’s a big honour. I always liked Juve as a club and now I’m happy and proud to wear this shirt. I feel I’m improving every day. I train with the best players in the world. With Bonucci we understand each other very well and complement each other. I know what he can do and he knows what I can do well. We try to form a good pairing. The most important thing of all is to always want to learn, grow and become a better player. I want to win as many trophies as possible, we want to achieve important goals. If you play for Juventus you must always try to win everything. And that’s what I want to do
2020 01 15 Retrieve
[How has De Ligt gone from ‘invincible’ at Ajax to benched at Juventus?] At Ajax, I felt invincible, today it’s different. I don’t know myself why I’m not playing as well as I’d like. All I can do is continue to work, to do my best and to try to learn from my team-mates.
2020 04 18 Retrieve
[Matthijs de Ligt tells what it was like walking into the Juventus dressing room for the first time] Obviously when I came into the dressing room the first time I was a little bit like a child in a candy shop, like, ‘There’s Buffon, there’s Ronaldo’. In the beginning you’re just a little bit looking like who’s that, who’s that and stuff like how is he? After really two months I felt really like I could be more myself.
2020 04 18b Retrieve
[De Ligt urged against Juventus exit by Stam as talk of interest from Man Utd resurfaces] In my opinion, it is essential that you stay because only in this way can you improve, compare yourself with the best, learn to manage the pressure in important matches in the Champions League and Serie A. My opinion towards him is positive, in the last few months he has expressed himself really well. He has been criticised a bit, but the initial difficulties were due to the fact that he had to understand how to adapt to a different type of football, and he’s still very young. Matthijs plays in a great club that has great players and the pressures he is facing are much greater. Furthermore, you have to consider that the opponents faced in Italy are very different from those encountered in the Netherlands. Juventus invested a substantial amount to get him, many think it has been too much, but in my opinion you just have to think about the continuous growth this boy has had up to now. For me he has been very good so far.
In my opinion it is normal for such a young player to have difficulties. He started playing in a new league and in a top club. In the Netherlands it was simpler as the teams he faced were of a lower level. But it is really where he grew up, Ajax was a challenge for him. This experience provided the self-confidence necessary to face stronger teams. The current result is this: Juventus believes in him in the same way that Matthijs has trust in his own qualities. He is an intelligent boy on and off the field, he wants to learn and you can see that he always wants to do better. This is a good individual quality. He must also learn Italian as it is important to know how to communicate with his team-mates
2020 05 01 Retrieve
[De Ligt didn’t want to be a €75m defender but Juventus star is now learning from Van Dijk & Bonucci] I played a lot in midfield, scored some goals, provided assists, and then suddenly they told me it would be better for my career to go one position back, to centre-back. At the beginning, I was thinking, ‘I don’t like being a defender,’ but now I’m starting to realise that the way I was brought up as a midfielder is helping me. So, I’m really happy that this was the development I had to go through. Since the emergence of that Barcelona team, the ‘tiki-taka’ team, everybody has wanted to play from the back. And to play from the back, you need defenders who are good with the ball. That’s why technical ability is really important in my role. It is important to know for yourself if you’re mentally right; if you’re ready, nobody can stop you. That is the thing that I started to realise and that is good also: to take a step back and see things that maybe you can improve. That is what I do. What I am saying is that mental ability is really important for defenders
[De Ligt said of his development, which includes partnering Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk with the Netherlands] It’s great to play with one of the best players in the world. And I guess we are a good duo. And now at Juventus with [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini, they are defenders with a lot of experience who know what it’s all about. I try to learn from them