Soccer / talent
De Ligt lives with his parents, but will soon beat the transfer record. They want him Barca, Juventus and Bayern
In Amsterdam, has grown another super talent. In March 2017, Danny Blind stopped training the Dutch national team. The coach was fired after being defeated by the Bulgarians in the qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup. At that game, Blind put in the center of defense of the 17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt, but the guy failed. After his mistakes, the Dutch missed twice - the teenager’s international debut was awful. But the failure did not cripple De Ligt. The young footballer took the captain's armband at Ajax, settled at the base of the national team and won the Golden Boy Award as the first defender. Up to eight years old, Matthijs dreamed of becoming a tennis player and got into football very typically: he went with a friend for a company to practice at the local Abcoude team. Scouts Ajax quickly noticed the lanky boy, but did not rush to invite to the academy - not the best physical form and slowness were embarrassing. De Ligt Sr. added decisiveness to them. Matthijs' father appeared on one of the matches and with his appearance convinced the scouts that over the years the guy would find the dimensions that were ideal for the defender. In Ajax, De Ligt developed under the supervision of a nutritionist, at 16 he played the first match for an adult team, and at 18 he became its captain — this is while Huntelar is alive. “Matthijs is one of those who makes the difference in the locker room. Before the match, he talks to everyone, wants to make sure that everyone is charged to fight and are ready to give everything to the fullest,” - says teammate Maximilian Wöber. De Ligt is comfortable being a leader, but he doesn’t drag the blanket over himself: “The coach has placed a heavy responsibility on me, but only one captain in the squad doesn’t decide anything. We have experienced players who are actively involved in the life of the team. I often consult with them, I get useful recommendations for development. Learning is an art.” Matthijs is appreciated for the ability to start attacks with both legs and a confident head play. Physical strength is also sufficient, but sometimes physique interferes: long torso and short legs limit speed. But De Ligt is a perfectionist. He knows weaknesses and works hard on them. Special attention in training the defender pays the choice of position, because due to the correct location you can compensate for the lack of explosive speed. “Few footballers of his age get so much game practice. Matthijs is developing at an incredible pace. On the field, it seems that he is all 30,” - surprised ex-Ajax player Ronald de Bour. De Ligt still lives with his parents, will celebrate the 20th anniversary only in August, and he already has 96 professional matches and the Europa League final - in the summer some superclub will receive a fairly experienced central defender, whose progress will continue for 10 years. De Ligt will change the club in the summer - there is no doubt about that. Recently, Mino Raiola became the player's agent, and this man will not forgive himself if he does not earn money on a rising star. It is quite possible that Matthijs will become the most expensive defender in the world - Raiola will beat out the maximum amount of money to the top in order to raise as many commissions as possible. Barcelona has already made it clear that it does not want to participate in the games of the agent, but the negotiations are not turning off - Pique is not getting younger, and there are practically no intelligent young central defenders in the market. Especially in Barça, they know that De Ligt likes the blue-garnet colors. “My favorite team in Spain? I think Barcelona. The club is associated with Ajax and puts on beautiful football,” - the defender admitted in November. Another factor in favor of the Catalans is Luis Suarez. Matthijs admired the Uruguay when he was still in favor of Ajax. Juventus is considered to be a no less serious contender - Raiola has already traveled to Turin to discuss the terms of a possible contract. Andrea Barzagli 37, Giorgio Chiellini 34, Leonardo Bonucci 31 - they can not play forever. De Ligt could become even stronger alongside such professionals and level up the league level, where the defense game was elevated to a cult. Another direction - Munich. Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels are no longer associated with the wall and have lost their place in the national team. Bayern is aimed at the rejuvenation of the composition, so the interest in De Ligt is quite logical: the Dutchman can form with the burglar Niklas Süle a powerful combination for many years. Before the summer new applicants will certainly appear, but for now Matthijs has time to bring sport dividends to Ajax. Amsterdam confidently passed the group stage of the Champions League and for the first time since 2006 they will play in the playoffs. In the 1/8 finals Real Madrid will wait - if De Ligt manages to stop the elusive Karim Benzema, you can wipe the exploits of the mid-90s. And then with a clear conscience to leave, leaving behind millions of euros.