Matthijs de Ligt has been the star performer for Ajax

Getty Images
The 19-year-old has been crucial for Ajax's successful season so far ...

There is something really special about Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt. The 19-year-old recently became the youngest player to captain a side in a Champions League semi-final. It’s astounding how the youngster has matured into a world class defender at such a young age.

De Ligt has belied his tender years and has displayed composure of the highest order on the biggest stage of European football.

In the last one year, the centre-back has come up against some of the best players in the world and has fared admirably against them.

Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus Matthijs De Ligt Ajax

Ajax has always been a great source of talents and the current side is no different. Players like Frenkie de Jong, David Neres, Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek do deserve a mention but De Ligt is the stand-out star from this bunch of extraordinary talents.

Should both the teams holding on to a lead from the first leg of the Champions League make it to the finals, the youngster could be handed his toughest assignment yet – stop Lionel Messi. If he does succeed in doing so, a Ballon d’Or nomination is not off the cards.