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Matthijs de Ligt is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for Juventus as a central defender. He was born on August 12th, 1999 in Leiderdorp, South Holland. De Ligt started his football career at a local club called Abcoude before joining the infamous Ajax academy at the age of 9.
After 8 years at the academy, de Ligt played a season for Jong Ajax, a youth team of the club that competes in lower Dutch leagues. In September of 2016 he made his debut for the senior team and by 2017 he was already a standard member of the first team. In fact, he was named captain in 2018, which made him the youngest-ever captain of Ajax.
During his career with the club from Amsterdam, de Ligt won one domestic title and one domestic cup. However, he also led a very talented generation to the finals of Europa League in 2017 and brought Ajax to the brink of the Champions League finals. The Dutch team lost in the semi-finals to Tottenham Hotspur after they conceded the deciding goal in the last minutes of the second leg.
Such a brilliant season didn’t go unnoticed and de Ligt was very hot merchandise in the transfer market. Finally, he made transfer news when he signed for Italian giants Juventus in 2019. In his first season with the club, he won the Serie A title and played in the finals of the Italian Cup.
De Ligt made his debut for the Netherlands senior team in 2017. He was only 17 at the time and he became the youngest starter for the national team since 1931. De Ligt currently has 23 national team appearances under his belt and was a part of the team that finished as runner-ups in the 2019 UEFA Nations League.
The central defender also has a few individual accolades to his name, like being named Golden Boy in 2018, making the Champions League Squad of the Season in 2019 and being named the Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2019.
Matthijs de Ligt Transfers and Rumours
- 2008: Abcoude to Ajax – Free Transfer
- 2019: Ajax to Juventus – £72 million
After arriving at the Ajax academy as a very young boy, de Ligt’s development was closely monitored and he was given a chance in the first team very early. Thanks to this, the central defender became one of the youngest football superstars and gossip around his next club started to mount.
Transfer rumours and football whispers about his next destination were abundant but there was also a lot of truth to these rumours. A few of the biggest European clubs made de Ligt one of their main transfer targets, including Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.
The Italian champions beat the transfer odds and signed de Ligt in 2019 for a fee of around £72 million, which was due to be paid in five increments. Due to the simple fact that he is already at one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the fact that he only arrived at Juventus a year ago, it is unlikely that we will see de Ligt move again in near future.