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De Ligt: ‘Chiellini one of the best defenders in the world’

March 30, 2019

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt believes Giorgio Chiellini “is one of the best defenders in the world” and says he “could” join Juventus.

The 19-year-old will be squaring up against the Bianconeri in the Champions League in the coming weeks and told Tuttosport how highly he rates them.

“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.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and Juventus are stronger with him, but on the other hand it’d be fascinating to face off with him. I already played against Ronaldo at international level and it was tough, but I have fond memories, as it was personally a positive game. Plus we’ve got Tadic, our own CR7.

“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.

“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.

“Could I join Chiellini in Turin? It could be, but there are other clubs interested too. 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.”

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