BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday July 16 2019
De Ligt charmed by new Old Lady

Considering the wealth of offers on the table from the world’s biggest clubs, Elio Salerno explains why Matthijs de Ligt chose Juventus.

Matthijs de Ligt has become a household name over the last 12 months, despite the fact he’ll only turn 20 next month. Since his debut for Ajax in 2016, de Ligt’s rapid rise to the top of European football has been well documented.

Already touted as one of the game’s best stoppers, football’s super elite have been jostling for the right to purchase the commanding young centre-back. Defenders in the mould of de Ligt are becoming a real rarity in the modern day, making complete players of his type the must-have accessory for a top team’s backline.

For the second consecutive year, Italian champions Juventus have arguably pulled off the biggest transfer of the summer. Beating a host of other clubs to de Ligt’s signature, the Bianconeri are finally close to making the move official after seemingly weeks of negotiations. So why has the Ajax skipper chosen to swap Amsterdam for Turin when Barcelona, Paris and Manchester were all feasible destinations?

When you consider the situation of the clubs from those cities, it is reasonable to say that Juventus is currently the best place for de Ligt to continue his progress. The red side of Manchester is floundering, while the blue side are facing a potential Champions League ban in the coming seasons. PSG appear to be in a constant state of transition, while Barcelona have already invested heavily at centre-back and were perhaps hesitant to do so again with de Ligt, instead preferring his compatriot Frenkie de Jong.

There are a number of other key factors involved. The Bianconeri have had a long-standing interest in de Ligt and made no secret of their admiration for the Dutchman. In agent Mino Raiola – a man Juve have had many dealings with - they had the ideal mediator to help facilitate this move. The fact that La Vecchia Signora are willing to break their somewhat calculated approach to transfers and make de Ligt the second highest-paid played in Serie A speaks volumes. These are elements that will have motivated de Ligt and provided him with needed reassurance. 

Another important player in this move is of course Cristiano Ronaldo, a player de Ligt idolised as a young boy. Having recently tussled on the pitch, the chance to play alongside the Portuguese Number 7 is an opportunity that will not come around again. It is now well known that Ronaldo himself personally asked de Ligt to join him in Turin after last month’s UEFA Nations League final between Portugal and the Netherlands. Although played down at the time by de Ligt, it would have been a moment of immense satisfaction for the young man and potentially something he could not ignore.

CR7 aside, a wealth of experience awaits de Ligt at the Allianz Juventus Stadium. The chance to lean on the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will be invaluable to the soon to be 20-year-old. Working on a daily basis with defenders of their class and experience will only aid de Ligt’s development. As an added bonus, the return of Gianluigi Buffon will see Matthijs surrounded by unprecedented levels of support on the training field.

In the country where the art of defending has been defined, his every move will come under intense scrutiny. Although the landscape of Serie A is changing, tactics and defending will always carry the upmost importance, meaning there is no better place in Europe than the land of Calcio for de Ligt to put his skills to the test. The Oranje Number 3 has been praised for the timing and decisiveness of his defensive actions, attributes that will be celebrated and loved by his new fans.

At a time where Juventus are about to experience a complete overhaul of their playing style under new Coach Maurizio Sarri, now is the ideal time for de Ligt to arrive. The whole group will be in transition. There’s a learning curve for the players to negotiate, providing de Ligt the opportunity to start at the same point as the rest of the squad. In Sarri, de Ligt will find a Coach whose philosophy has similarities to the football he has been playing at Ajax, allowing the imposing centre-back the chance to seamlessly slip in to the team’s new methods.

At Juventus, de Ligt will find a unique club that complements his character, attitude and professionalism. The Turin giants are a winning machine and ruthless by nature, de Ligt will revel in the black and white pressure cooker. Of course, his presence will only intensify the calls for Juventus to win the trophy that continually evades them and one that de Ligt himself came agonisingly close to competing for last season. It’s something they will hope to put right together.

On the surface, Matthijs de Ligt and Juventus appear to be the perfect match. The arrival of de Ligt only heightens expectations for the new campaign and is yet another coup for Serie A and Italian football.  

Have your say...
@ Niscist: If someone's factual answer to your question is too long for you to read, it only proves that you're a lousy debater. You talk without knowing your facts or being informed and incapable of expressing a valuable opinion.

I visit football-italia on daily basis since it was a channel 4 blog... Obviously the blog section has seen so many butthurt regulars over the years, regurgitating their "facts" and deflecting any answer based on evidence and logic. Don't feel that special...
on the 26th July, 2019 at 3:49am
@Nicist - It's obvious you're trying to save face, but doing it in such a juvenile way. The facts are there for everyone to see whether you're a juventino or an interisti. THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS INTER'S REDEEMER!Everyone knows that; so, just shut that hole in your face and hope Conte can find a way to get Inter competing again because whether you like it or not: it's only someone with juve DNA that can rescue your team from the sewers they're in right now. Lol
on the 23rd July, 2019 at 3:43pm
AS A LAZIO fan i will say JUVENTUS will win the league again as they have done very well in Transfer Market. I really hope other clubs can one day compete and break their league dominance. Cos it gets very boring when they get points head and win the league with games to spare. Hope LAZIO can at least try to win the league like Leicester City.
on the 21st July, 2019 at 8:47pm
Wow! A shallow minded Inter fan (who closes his eyes to latest inventions of Calciopoli) is lecturing us about corruption and Juve are known for blah blah blah therefore real fans should blah blah blah. Hahahahahahahaha......

This is soo funny. Man! I can smell your frustration in every sentence you write. Take my advice, Stop wasting your time and money for a corrupted provincial team, Inter. IF you still has brain inside your head.
on the 21st July, 2019 at 5:49am
Told ya lol
on the 21st July, 2019 at 4:38am
I'm too busy to be reading such long comments from a bandwagoner. Let me again state the facts: Juve were caught cheating, and were actually relegated to serie b. With that in mind, Inter remain the only team in Italy, to always have played in serie a. Juve are known to be corrupted to the core, and no real fan who ever support them, unless they dont know better, or are new fans/bandwagon. People of Turin support Torino FC, go figure.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 10:09pm
He wont, this is where these arguments usually stop. Even if they do read about it you wouldnt know because this is the only way for them to blow off some steam lol. I mean, what would you do if your trophy cabinet was just collecting dust for so many years. Eventually you go insane and start attacking juve fans on the internet for no reason lol. The barca fans are the only group i have seen that are worse.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 4:32pm
Thus, according to the findings of the FIGC’s chief investigator, it is Inter, Milan and Livorno who should have been relegated in 2006 and not Juventus.

But, due to the Statute of Limitations, there will be no further punishment. While Juventus will emerge as moral winners after a five-year struggle for justice
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:56pm
Article 6 violations (the attempt to gain an advantage in the standings through match-fixing or attempted match-fixing) are deemed worthy of immediate relegation. Even in the now-discredited trial of 2006, Juventus were cleared of any Article 6 violations, and were only demoted due to a combination of Article 1 violations (unsportsmanlike conduct, which can be anything from swearing on the pitch to excessively calling Bergamo and Pairetto), misdemeanours that had never before resulted in anything more than fines or, at most, a minor points penalty.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:56pm
Palazzi’s most damaging claims listed the following Calcio figures as being guilty back in 2006 of - along with Juventus - violating Article 1 of the Code of Sporting Justice:

Campedelli (Chievo), Cellino (Cagliari), Corsi (Empoli), Foschi (Palermo), Foti (Reggina), Gasparin (Vicenza), Governato (Brescia), Meani (Milan), Moratti (Inter), Spalletti (Udinese).

Palazzi also alleged that the following men should have been found guilty of violating Article 6 of the Code of Sporting Justice:

Facchetti (Inter), Meani (Milan), Spinelli (Livorno)
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:55pm
The FIGC handed Palazzi the responsibility of pouring over all the evidence from the Calciopoli II trial in Naples a year ago, during which it was revealed that former Inter directors had had contact with referees and a number of other high-profile Italian football leaders between 2004 and 2006.

Transcripts from wiretaps identified by the Tribunal of Naples also demonstrated that ex-Inter president Giacinto Facchetti enjoyed regular contact with former referee designators Paolo Bergamo and Pierluigi Pairetto.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:54pm
2011: The Italian press exploded this morning following yesterday’s revelations by the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) chief investigator Stefano Palazzi, who accused Inter of committing sporting fraud during the 2004-05 season. This had subsequently led to the Calciopoli scandal, which saw Juventus stripped of two Scudetti and relegated to Serie B, and Milan, Lazio, Fiorentina and Reggina issued point penalties for 2006-07.

Palazzi said: "Inter violated the article relative to sporting fraud with regards to the possibility of taking advantages in the standings."
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:54pm
@Niscist Google Stefano Palazzi calciopoli.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 3:49pm
What is bs about Juve getting relegated in 2006? Sometimes I don't get these bandwagon fans. People like me, who are stating the fact, are obviously stupid, according to these Juve fans.
on the 20th July, 2019 at 11:44am
@Niscist and other haters with their "witty" comments: you go out of your way, take the time and burn the last few brain cells you allegedly have left, only to come up with bs negative comments, on an article written about an amazing piece of business done by Juve... Meanwhile your mess of a "team" can't even sniff a trophy year after year... I LOVE swimming in your tears, specially the black n blue ones :D
on the 19th July, 2019 at 11:16pm
@Niscist Inter, Livorno, and Milan are the teams that should have been ralegated back in 2006. So get educated or be quiet you hater. 
on the 19th July, 2019 at 4:22pm
Also stop being so deluded as usual. The only person you are upsetting is yourself lol. Juve fans do not have anything to be upset about right now.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 8:36pm
Only inter fans think about one trophy buddy lol its all you ever talk about. Try winning one more hahaha just one hahaha. Its not juve fault you never won before calciopoli and dont talk about the past because we all know about inter in the 60s. Thats where corruption started lol. Anyways its all water under the bridge and the main fact is that you dont win jack now lol and have not won in 10 years lolol. Go do what you always do and read about the past lol its where you belong anyway.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 8:14pm
And just to clarify, I don't hate Juventus. All I want is the best for italian football. Do I want Juve to win the triple like Inter did in 2010? I would prefer not, but hey, no need to bash me for telling the truth about Juventus' dark past. Their jail-like attire has a resemblance to the corruption of Juve.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 4:56pm
I feel some hostility from the Juve fan's. It's not my fault Juve got relegated in 2006, nor is it my fault Juve played infront of empty stands in the late 90's, and until 2010. A 4th bundesliga team could also fill their stadium with a max attendance of 38.000. The real team in Turin, honest wise, is Torino. Juve fans seem to still be annoyed Inter took their stolen title in 2006. And it seems to upset them Inter have always been in serie A, and have always had more attendance.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 4:52pm
I must say the barca fans are the most insane with their comments. But inter fans come in at a very close 2nd for your level of stupidity and weirdness lol. 0 class . Milan aint that bad as some of their fans are still in touch with reality on some level. But wow inter fans just wow Hahahaha. Carry on losers
on the 18th July, 2019 at 2:37pm
And to laugh at you. Hahahahahhahaha hsgahajaja haaaaaaaa!!!!!!. All of you are losers and so it shall remain haaaaahahaha haahahhahaha !!!!!!!!
on the 18th July, 2019 at 2:17pm
Keep up the hating ppl. You make us juve fans feel so special. The hate force is strong with nicist especially lol. we know the teams you all support havent won a relevant trophy in over 8 years and its making you upset and you dont know how to deal with being losers for so long, so you come here to post crap that nobody cares about. Why ? Its just weird bec its the same stuff i have been reading for 8 yrs and before hahahah at least i will always be here to remind you all of how dumb you are.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 2:15pm
Good buy. I mean now Juve will win the league on day one instead of Jan or Feb; they have really struggled in the league over the last 7 years, with Ronaldo bringing them so much more success last season this acquisition will ice the cake and finally allow them to win the trophy they were longing for last year, the Coppa Italia!!!
They can forget CL- I think if they brought Messi and Nehmar in and added to this soup of players they already have they still won't win it
on the 18th July, 2019 at 11:40am
Terrific cover for Chiellini and Bonucci - he can join Perin, Rugani and Dybala on the bench waiting for Sarri to rotate.

Seriously, glad he's in Serie A, but we'll see how happy this squad by next year.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 10:52am
Hmmmm... What's that good smell from you @Niscist? Jealous? LOL My favorite!

Btw, enjoy the wonderkid from Uruguay. I wish Godin a very long career with inter, just like the long career of previous wonderkid Nemanja Vidic in Italy! Cheers.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 3:32am
Haters gonna hate hahaha.
on the 18th July, 2019 at 12:33am
De Ligt is really gonna enjoy his stay in italy. He will always get help from his teammates to settle in, and on top of that, ref's are gonna do their part to keep the lad happy. We all know Juve are the reason for Serie A's decline. Stop corruption, put Juve back to Serie B, forza calcio, forza fair play.
on the 17th July, 2019 at 10:49pm
Now I'm very very DELIGTED!
on the 17th July, 2019 at 5:16am
A no-brainer for Juve. He could be their top CB for 15 years.

It's nice to see that one club in Italy can still attract a player like him, as 20 years ago, 6 or 7 Italian sides could have signed him.

But this must be progress, because even 5 years ago no Italian side would have had a hope in hell of buying De Ligt, Juve included.

Higuain, Khedira and Pjaca can fund this sale, and maybe one from Cuadrado/D Costa. Trouble is, those latter two have characteristics other Juve players are missing
on the 16th July, 2019 at 11:26pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.