New Juventus signing Matthijs De Ligt explained how the Bianconeri convinced him moreso than Barcelona, insisting “I decide!”
The 19-year-old completed his move to Turin yesterday and in an interview with De Telegraaf, explained his motivations for coming to Juventus over Barcelona as well as recounting his last season with Ajax.
“The championship, the cup and the semifinals of the Champions League: it was a wonderful last season,” he told the Dutch daily.
“Should they call the new youth complex the ‘Matthijs de Ligt’ complex? They can decide for themselves.
“It has been a very long process between the clubs, but the personal negotiations also took a long time
“My nerves were put to the test. I am very happy that there is clarity now. Even though I had peace of mind because I knew what I wanted and I was convinced that it would be okay.
“I even look at it from the other side. It is now mid-July and there are also transfers that will be completed at the end of August. So you don’t hear me complaining. ”
“My presentation? I have seen videos of other players, but I did not expect that it would be so intense. It indicates that I have done well at Ajax and that they expect a lot.
“The city is running as a common thread throughout my career. I have been there a lot: with the national team, to receive the Golden Boy title and with Ajax.
“I have very nice memories of the stadium, because that was one of the best football nights in my career.”
De Ligt has attracted criticism for his big money move with some insisting he should have gone to Barcelona.
“I have decided not to pay too much attention to it, but I am surprised by the criticism.
“Everyone thinks I should have gone to FC Barcelona, but in the end I decide! I look purely at my own development, which is best for me.
“Juventus is so convinced of me, made me feel like they really wanted me and has such a clear growth plan with me.
“And Italy is the country of the world where defending is most appreciated. All this makes this a very good school for me, with fantastic mentors, so that I can become an even more complete defender. ”
The young defender took a moment to pay homage to coach Barry Hulshoff who played an important part in his development and in deciding where to move.
“Barry Hulshoff was very important in that. We discussed the details after every game and Barry always kept me on the ground and out of the wind.
“I owe a very large part of my transfer to Barry. I absorb all the information because I have a strong urge to become a better player. And what could be nicer than taking steps in all kinds of areas and seeing that reflected in the competitions?”
“I don’t think I leave football much. I never really came into contact with going out or parties. You have to live like a pro and there are competitions for the fans. So far I am doing well. It’s all about hard work. ”