Bayern Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt considers himself a student of football history, so he obviously knew at some point that someone might draw a comparison between him and club legend Franz Beckenbauer.
While flattered, De Ligt has far too much respect for Beckenbauer than to put himself in that category.
“I would never compare myself to Franz Beckenbauer, that would be wrong,” De Ligt said with a laugh to Bayern Munich club magazine Säbener51 (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “But let’s put it this way: He played very successfully for FC Bayern for a long time and won many, many titles. That’s my goal too.”
De Ligt thinks knowing the history of the club and the story behind a legend like Beckenbauer can only be an asset to him during his tenure in Germany.
“I know football history quite well. Franz Beckenbauer is considered the best defender in the world. He was never absent from any top 11. I have watched many videos of him. Of course those were very different times, but I still like to watch how he played football,” De Ligt said. “Back then, he was playing in an incredibly successful Bayern team that had won the European cup three times in a row. He’s a legend and a huge inspiration.”