Matthijs de Ligt (Leiderdorp, 1999) became known worldwide in the 2018-19 Champions League. It was the ‘bastion’ of that Ajax who, riding De Jong, Ziyech, Tadic and Van de Beek, stormed the Bernabu (1-4) putting an end to Real Madrid’s three consecutive Champions League.
Juventus signed him in exchange for 85 million euros, but his time in Turin -went from less to more- was full of ups and downs. Bayern took advantage of this circumstance to incorporate him last summer for 67 ‘kilos’ and in Munich, little by little, He begins to look his best version.
Previously he had avoided a shot from Messi at close range, but his image saving Vitinha’s shot on empty goal on the line, even with 0-0, will accompany him forever. I celebrated it as if it were a goal. The occasion deserved it. “It was a very, very good feeling. When my partner (Sommer) loses the ball, I knew I had to be ready. The shot, luckily, was not going too hard and I was there. It was our night”De Ligt assured.
Julian Nagelsman He went a ‘little step’ further praising his pupil: “Matthijs only thinks about defending. Nine out of 10 defenders would have stopped running thinking ‘Game Over.’ For his part, Yann Sommer, who lost the ball that led to Vitinha’s shot, was overflowing with gratitude: “Leave a truckload of Swiss chocolate at your doorstep.”
Nine out of 10 defenders will have stopped running thinking ‘Game Over’
De Ligt came from completing a great game in the victory over Stuttgart (1-2). The center-back ‘opened the can’ with a shot from outside the area and saved another goal on the line. “Normally I usually score with my head, so this time it was something new,” he said. “I’m glad he scored. He always practices those kinds of shots in training,” Nagelsmann qualifies.
The shot that De Ligt took on the line against Stuttgart.
From substitute with the ‘Oranje’ to hero in the Champions League
The beginning of the season was not easy for De Ligt. “When he joined Bayern he was not 100% physically, but he has worked hard and has had an extraordinary development”, admits Nagelsmann. That deficit may have taken its toll on him in the World Cup: he was a substitute with the Netherlands.
“The World Cup was very disappointing for me. It cannot be that someone with my ambition and my qualities is not a starter, so I analyzed what I could do better. I had to change something,” he admits.
It cannot be that someone with my ambition and my qualities is not the owner [con Pases Bajos]so I analyzed what I could do better
He has taken it seriously. “I have paid more attention to my diet than I already did. Now I try to adapt it to the intensity and frequency of training”point.
I want the rivals to think: Oh no, I have to play against De Ligt!
However, he wants more. “I have progressed a lot since I arrived, but I feel that I can still continue to improve and help the team. That is my goal: to try to be the best player that I can be. I want to be dominant, to feel that my peers trust me. and that the rivals think: ‘Oh, no! I play against De Ligt, today is going to be a difficult game”.
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