De Ligt admits he has asked Cristiano Ronaldo for tips at Juventus

Matthijs de Ligt admits he has asked Cristiano Ronaldo for tips at Juventus as he bids to become one of the world’s top defenders but vows not to ‘copy’ his experienced team-mates… and jokes Gianluigi Buffon is old enough to be his dad!

  • Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt says he is learning from Cristiano Ronaldo  
  • The Dutchman has sought advice from the forward about becoming a top star 
  • But he vowed to follow his own ‘rhythm’ despite looking up to the club’s veterans 

Matthijs de Ligt says he has sought advice from Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as he looks to take his game to the next level in Serie A.

The Dutch defender is aiming to become one of the best centre-backs in the world in Turin and has plenty of ideal role models to learn from – including the vastly experienced Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. 

But the 21-year-old is most eager to pick up tips from the Portuguese superstar after his rise to the top of the game as one of the best players of all time, saying he is keen to ‘learn as much as possible’ but promised to follow his own path. 

Matthijs de Ligt has revealed he is seeking advice from Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus  

The Dutchman says he is eager to learn from the forward’s methods and fitness regime 

Ronaldo has maintained an incredible physique despite being in his mid-30s and still possesses great pace and fitness – the latter of which de Ligt is particularly interested in hearing about.  

‘I’m where I want to be and where I can learn as much as possible,’ he told the Telegraph. ‘There are experienced guys – [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci – but also a goalkeeper like [Gianluigi] Buffon and Cristiano Ronaldo.

‘We all have our different characteristics and I do not try and copy them but I look at Ronaldo and see what he does, how he stays fit all the time.

‘I ask for tips, for advice. What I have also learnt is that I need to do things that are good for me. In the end you find your own rhythm.’

The centre-back vowed to follow his own rhythm in Turin as he bids to become a top defender

Another player who will have plenty of advice and experience to lend to the youngster is 43-year-old goalkeeper Buffon – a player more than double his age. 

De Ligt joked that the Italian is old enough to be his parent but acts like a much younger player on the pitch.

‘Well, he could be my father!’ he added.

‘It’s funny because when I see him and the way he behaves I don’t think he’s twice my age and that’s also his strength and why he is still playing. He plays with a head like a 29-year-old.’

De Ligt – who joined the Old Lady in a £67.5m deal from Ajax in 2019 – is not yet an automatic first choice under Andrea Pirlo at Juventus but has certainly played his part this season, making 12 starts in Serie A and 21 appearances in all competitions.

He joked Gianluigi Buffon ‘could be his father’ but appears much younger on the pitch 

De Ligt said he had learned to ‘expect the worse’ as a defender while developing at the club

He played 39 times last season and says he is picking up new things constantly during his time with the Italian giants. He believes the most valuable lesson he has learnt so far is to ‘always expect the worst’. 

‘The art of defending is always to expect the worst,’ he continued.

‘There are a lot of players who gamble it will go right for the team but I always think ‘what if my team-mate loses the ball? What if he (the opponent) gets the cross in?’

‘So I am always thinking that way and in that way you will not be surprised so much because you can be as fast as possible or as strong as possible but if you don’t do this you will always get there a second too late or even a millisecond too late. It’s the most important thing that I have learnt here.’ 

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