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Karine Grigoryan

31-08-2019 | 16:35 Football
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Matthijs de Ligt responds to the criticism amid being left on the bench and praises Cristiano Ronaldo

Matthijs de Ligt looks like will be in the starting line-up against Napoli as Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is out due to an ACL injury. The former Ajax defender expressed his disappointment as he was left on bench during Juventus' 1-0 win over Parma. However, De Ligt claims that he is surprised when he sees criticism if he doesn’t play. “I am surprised when I see criticism if I don’t play, as this is part of the process for a young player moving to a top level European club,” De Ligt told De Telegraaf. “Before coming here, I had a long conversation with Maurizio Sarri. He said what he wanted from me and that the first month would be a period of great change, which is true of any defender who works with him. “I do realise that I am getting better every day, in good shape and simply a stronger player. There are so many tournaments during the season and it’s positive to have five very strong defenders in the squad. I just have to look after myself and ask every day if I’ve done everything to improve.”  De Ligt also spoke about his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo claiming that he is learning from him how to live as a top player both on and off the field. “Ronaldo and the other big stars here are perfect teachers. They show me how much I can improve if I take care of my body and release that potential," said De Ligt. “It is extraordinary the madness he has to deal with, it’s 1,000 times more than what I experience. When we went to Asia, he took one step outside and people practically jumped on him, some were even trying to squeeze through emergency exits of the hotel just to get a glimpse. “Despite all that, Ronaldo takes time for his fans and that too is an important lesson for me. Sometimes you think, ‘not now,’ but it’s really such a small effort and can give people such pleasure. We owe them a great deal.”  via football-italia.net

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