Thursday July 18 2019
De Ligt: Love Italian defending

Matthijs de Ligt says while ‘it’s sad to leave Ajax’, he had to join Juventus as he is ‘in love with the Italian art of defending’.

De Ligt finally completed his €85.5m transfer to Juve from Ajax on Thursday, and the defender explained why he chose the Bianconeri over the likes of Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

“I played for 10 years in the youth sector and three in the first team, but unfortunately I have to take a step forward now,” the 19-year-old told Ajax TV.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the Italian art of defending. Many of the players I look up to are Italian: Maldini, Baresi, Nesta, Cannavaro, Scirea... I could go on.

“I fell in love with how Italian clubs defend. For me, it’s sad to leave Ajax. I experienced some wonderful and very ugly moments.

“It was like being on a rollercoaster, but there’s always a time in our lives when we have to go our separate ways.

“I’ll miss everyone, but no-one knows what the future holds.”

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