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De Ligt plays down CR7's role in joining Juve

De Ligt plays down Cristiano's role in his decision to join Juventus

July 19, 2019 By Ali M.
The Dutchman joined the Italian giants and claims the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had little influence on that decision.

After Juventus emerged as the favorites to sign Matthijs De Ligt ahead of the likes of Barcelona and PSG, many were quick to hail Cristiano Ronaldo as the super agent behind this deal. However, the Dutchman himself has come out and played down those claims.

The two crossed paths first in the Champions League, with Ajax knocking out the Old Lady from Europe. A while later, they went to battle in the UEFA Nations League final when the Netherlands and Portugal locked horns.

After the game, the pair exchanged words, with the 19-year-old center-back later revealing that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner told him to come to Turin. Fast forward to today and the teenager now wears the Bianconeri's famous black and white jersey after sealing an $84M transfer.

However, speaking to reporters in his first press conference since joining the Serie A champions, De Ligt insisted that the decision had nothing with the Portuguese icon but was a matter of his own personal ambition. The teenager echoed the statements made by his agent Mino Raiola.

“After the Nations League final I was already sure that I wanted to join Juventus, but it was still a big compliment to have Cristiano ask me to join here but it didn't make the difference,” De Ligt said (as per Goal).

“I came here because Italy is one of the most traditional countries for defenders. Juventus is a great forwards step for me.

“I spoke to [Maurizio] Sarri on the phone before coming just to get to know each other. He was one of the reasons that I wanted to join here, I've heard a lot of good things about him and I like his footballing philosophy and how he prepares his defense.

“The photo of me in a Juventus shirt was taken when I was about six or seven, at that time Fabio Cannavaro was a defender that I admired. I always had a good feeling about Juventus and I've always been a fan.”

De Ligt, who captained Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals last term, is keen on winning everything with his new club. He added: “There are four competitions and we want to win them all. This is the mentality of Juventus.

“It's a big step, my first outside of my home country. I was really honored with how the Juventus fans welcomed me and I hope that I can give a lot back.

“I'm still young but I feel like I've got a lot of experience for a 19-year-old, that's why I made this move to gain more experience and to learn from the players here."

The Dutchman will wear the number four jersey at the Allianz Stadium. There he will learn from the likes of Chiellini and Bonucci, two of the best defenders in the world.

 

 


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