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De Ligt: ‘ I was a fan of Juventus’

July 19, 2019

Matthijs de Ligt told the gathered press that he has always been a Juventus fan with Fabio Cannavaro a particular inspiration for the 19-year-old.

The youngster posted a video to his social media account that included a picture of a young De Ligt in a Juventus shirt and he was asked if he was a fan of Juventus at an early age.

“If you’re a defender, you already know which defender I admired. It was Fabio Cannavaro, who won the World Cup and Ballon d’Or in 2006.

“I was a really big fan of him, but I obviously always had a good feeling about Juve. They’re a big club, a great club, so I was fan of them when I was young.

“When I played here with Ajax in the Champions League, I was stunned by the fans. Even when it was 1-2, they created an incredible atmosphere and really supported the team.

“For me, it’s going to be a big challenge to play for them and I will give my all for them. It’s a really great stadium and close to the pitch, so every sound you hear is really loud. It’s an incredible stadium with great fans.

“There are three competitions we’ll be playing in, maybe four with the Super Cup. We want to win everything, that’s the most important thing, and it won’t be any different this year.

“It was a long process [coming here], I was just looking at what was good for me. Italy is the country of defending, the country that loves defending the most.

“If you talk about Italian players, the ones that come up the most are defenders, but for me it was a big challenge, to take a new step. They showed me a lot of confidence and really wanted me.

“I was really proud to join this club. There were several reasons why, but in the end it was the feeling that made the difference.

“I think we have a lot of different types of strikers. Every type has their own qualities, so I don’t think these attackers are easy to play against. It’s going to be a big challenge for me and I can learn from them every day.

“I think in Netherlands it’s all about building up from the back and defending high, while in Italy there’s more zonal marking and defending together.

“I think I can help them and they can help me. That’s the great combination between Juventus and I.

“I’m coming to Juve and still only 19 so I think I have a lot of room to improve. There are some differences between Ajax and Juve, but in the end it’s important to work every day and show I want to learn. I think I can improve all the attributes I have, so I hope to become a better player.

“Pressure is normal in football and of course, when a club buys you for a big amount of money, there’s a lot of pressure, but pressure is normal in football. I think pressure is the most important thing and if you want to be a good player, you have to deal with it.

“It’s not a big deal for me. I’ll just play my game, work hard and show it on the pitch. In the end, everyone will see how I deal with it, but it’s not going to be a problem.

“The No 4 for me is a special number because I always wore it for Ajax. At Juve, the number was free and I heard a lot of good stories about it from the past, so there’s some legacy for me to fulfil, but I’m really proud to wear it and I hope I can achieve a lot here.

“At Ajax we had a lot of young players and some experienced guys, but here the players are older and a lot more experienced. I hope to learn from guys like Buffon, Chiellini, Ronaldo and make my game better.

“For me, the most important thing is to adapt. As a player you want to play, so I have to show it in training and then we’ll see who plays.”

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