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De Ligt ‘really happy’ with Juventus choice despite testing start to life in Turin

8:30 PM IST 24/09/19
Matthijs de Ligt Juventus 2019-20
The Dutch defender had the pick of Europe’s top clubs over the summer and believes he made the right call in linking up with the Serie A champions

Matthijs de Ligt has declared himself to be "really happy" with his decision to join Juventus over the summer despite enduring some early teething problems in Turin.

The Dutch defender had his pick of Europe’s top clubs during the last transfer window.

Having starred for Ajax while still in his teens, becoming club captain along the way, the winner of the 2018 Golden Boy award was courted by the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Juve.

He eventually settled on a €75 million (£68m/$84m) switch to Italy, with the highly-rated centre-half welcoming the opportunity to link up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. at the reigning Serie A champions.

De Ligt has experienced some difficulties in Italy, leading to him spending time on the bench, but the 20-year-old believes that he made the right call at this stage of his career.

Speaking to Tuttosport at the FIFA Best awards, the Netherlands international said: “There have been many changes but it is going well, I am really happy with the choice I made in the summer when I signed for Juventus.

“I am learning Italian. Both the language and the football, very different, compared to the Dutch one. I am very happy to be here.”

De Ligt was voted by his peers into the FIFPro World XI for 2019, joining Liverpool talisman and fellow countryman Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence in that selection.

He was delighted to have received such recognition and hopes to be in a position to justify such a standing over the course of his debut campaign with Juve.

De Ligt added: “It's really nice to receive an award with the votes of the other players, it's a great recognition.

“It was an exciting and enormously proud moment to get on stage with those players, some of whom are literally living legends. 

“It is a great honour to be here. I was lucky enough to have played with both Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo, but frankly I can't choose between the two.”

Both Van Dijk and Ronaldo were beaten to the top prize at the FIFA Best gala on Monday, with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi earning a billing as the world’s standout performer over the last 12 months.