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De Ligt: ‘I would have preferred to play’

August 26, 2019

Matthijs De Ligt admits he would have preferred to play in Juve’s 1-0 victory over Parma over the weekend but respects the decision.

The 20-year-old was expected to feature at some point but Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were preferred from the off.

“Naturally, I would’ve preferred to play and I didn’t get any clues from training, so I didn’t expect to be on the bench,” De Ligt told AD after the game.

“Obviously, I respect the decision of the Coach. I must be realistic, as I am still settling in here in Italy. The defenders who played, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, were considered for a long time to be the best centre-back partnership in the world.

“I have to earn my place throughout the season. The first five weeks have been tough on a physical level, but I do notice that I’m getting stronger. Defensively, the demands are not that different to what I was accustomed to at Ajax, as the Coach wants us to anticipate the movement.

“I am still getting to grips with the language and I know some football terms, but I want to improve my Italian a great deal. I’m attending a course five times a week and that is going well.”

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