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De Ligt: I’m very happy at Juventus

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The young defender has been talking about his first year with the club

Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus FC celebrate after scoring a... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus made a big splash last summer going out and signing defender Matthijs de Ligt last summer, and while the Dutch youngster has had some ups and down in his short time with the club, speaking to Tuttosport (via Football Italia), he says he is well-settled now.

Earlier on in the football shutdown there had been some unfounded rumours that a move to Barcelona or Manchester United but de Ligt insists he is indeed content.

“My first feeling was happiness: Juventus bought me, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“Compared to life at Ajax, everything was different. Let’s say the first big difference that struck me was the international stature of the club.

“Then there was the welcome given to me by my new teammates, an exceptional group of lads. All of them were really nice to me and helpful. They immediately made me feel part of a family.

“I’m very happy at Juventus. I found out during this period without football that someone made up a few things about me.

“I’m really happy to be here, training every day with extraordinary players. I have the desire to improve every day so, yes, I’m happy.”

When asked about his teammates at Juve, de Ligt gushed about the regular big names, but one other up and coming player has also caught his eye.

“To be honest, the general level of the team is really high. Obviously there’s Ronaldo, but I won’t name him because everyone knows who Cristiano is and what he can do.

“Therefore, I’ll say there are two more players who struck me: one is Dybala, who has truly stunning technique.

“The other, and it might sound strange to some, is Rodrigo Bentancur, a player with truly amazing technical ability.

“I’d say he’s quite underrated. He’s a great player with a great future ahead of him.”

Manager Maurizio Sarri has received more than his fair share of criticism from the fans and media alike in his own debut season at Juve, but de Ligt believes in him and his philosophy, comparing it to a style of football made famous in his own homeland and revolutionized the game a few decades ago.

“[He is] a tactician. He’s very attentive to that side of the game and he has an extremely precise idea of ​​football.

“He wants us to build from the back and play technical football, more or less like what I was used to at Ajax.

“Basically, you can say that he’s very ‘Dutch’, even if his Italian spirit remains strong. It could be said that he’s Italy’s answer to Total Football.”