Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt reveals he wasn’t always a defender. “Up to the age of 15 I played as a playmaker.”
The Dutchman gave an interview to UEFA’s official website, and touched upon an array of topics about his career so far.
De Ligt’s biggest reveal was that he wasn’t always a defender.
“Up to the age of 15 I played as a playmaker. I played a lot in midfield, scored a few goals and made some assists,” De Ligt told the website.
“But then they told me that for my career it would be better to play as a central defender.
“At the beginning I thought: ‘I don’t like playing in defence,’ but I now realise that playing as a midfielder has helped me. I am happy with my development.”
The Bianconeri meet Lyon in the Round of 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg tomorrow, and de Ligt says he is familiar with the Ligue 1 side.
“I know enough about them. Two of my teammates in the national side play there, Memphis Depay and Kenny Tete.
“I played against them when I was at Ajax, so I know the stadium and the club. I think they are a strong side, with a lot of young players. In this sense they are similar to Ajax, because they can count on young players to grow.
They are a good side and we must be ready.”
De Ligt moved to Juve from Ajax last summer for €75m, and says his time in Serie A has improved him as a player.
“In recent years, technique has become increasingly important. I think it all started from Barcelona and the ‘tika-taka’ movement, with play starting from the back, and to play out from the back you need to be good with the ball.
“This is why technique is important. In Italy you also play with more men against an attacker, and it is very different, but this has allowed me to become the defender that I am today.
“I am not afraid to go one on one against someone, and it is something I learned at Ajax.
“Juve are the strongest team in Italy, they want to attack and win. With this coach it is important to play from the back, and advance with courage and to see that we have the desire to play the ball.
“To do this you must have good technique.”
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