After signing Sadio Mané from Liverpool for €32 million euros, Bayern are looking to pay double or triple that amount for their next big signing: Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman, who is under contract until 2024, will become the new defensive chief that Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann has been looking for to shore up the defense.
Bayern’s sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić and technical director Marco Neppe flew to Italy for negotiations, with a contract until 2027 expected from Bayern. All they need to do is to agree on a fee with Juventus for the 22-year-old (Juventus want €75 million + €10 or €15 million add-ons).
If I bombarded you with too much information just then, then prepare yourself for more information, this time about the big man himself.
Matthijs de Ligt was born in Leiderdorp, Netherlands, the same place were current Bayern and former Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui was born. His parents, Frank and Vivian, were tennis players, which meant that Matthijs was more exposed to tennis rather than football (he can play with Thomas Müller, awesome!). Wout and Fleur are his younger siblings who were born as twins. He is in a relationship with Dutch model Annekee Molenaar, whom he met in 2018. Annekee’s father was in fact a former player, having played for Ajax from 1980 to 1984.
De Ligt’s footballing journey started in 2005, when Matthijs went to his first ever training session at Abcoude, but it didn’t go exactly how he imagined it. “The first time I kicked a football, it flew in all directions,” he recalled. De Ligt would become one of the best players at the club, before he was brought to Ajax in 2009. In 10 years, he developed into one of the best center-backs in the game, which caught the eye of Juventus and made the Italian club shell out €86 million euros for him.
De Ligt is a tall center-back with a lot of bulk, but perhaps English club Manchester United overestimated a little bit. A few years back, the Premier League club balked at the notion of signing De Ligt because they thought he would become too fat. Something which De Ligt was called when he first came to Ajax. “They brought me a nutritionist when I first came,” de Ligt said. At Ajax, he was called “Dikkie” (fat), which might have stemmed from his eating habits. “Sometimes I eat a little unhealthily,” says de Ligt. “But generally, I do what I think is good for my body.” If Niklas Süle hadn’t moved to Borussia Dortmund, we would’ve had the “chonky boi” pairing in defense (maybe that’s what CB really stands for!).
His favorite dish is pizza, which wouldn’t be surprising considering that he grew up idolizing the likes of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannavaro, and Gaetano Scirea. He’s also been in Turin for the past three years, so…understandable
De Ligt’s hobbies include physical activities, such as Pilates (a form of working out). He is also a fast defender, and he has one person to thank for that. Former sprinter and fellow Dutchman Troy Douglas taught De Ligt that bigger steps meant longer sprints.