Updated: Jul 18
Matthijs de Ligt is a Dutch professional footballer. He is one of the most talented defenders among the current generation of footballers. His outstanding physique, amazing tackling and passing technique and aerial duels and Matthijs surely makes up as the perfect young contender in the race for the world’s best defender. Still early in his career, Matthijs has become an indispensable part of the Dutch football team. Starting it off as amateur when he was nine, Matthijs carrer graph has risen sharply. Still in his early days, Matthijs has till date played a total of 42 Eredivisie games and 13 Europa League games, wherein he got an average grade of 7.03. He has also played for the Dutch national team.
Rise to Stardom
Stardom and fanfare may be inherited, but it only lasts when it is earned. Matthijs de Ligt sure seems to have earned it by being one of the most talented young football players. Starting it off at the age of six, Matthijs first played for FC Abcoude for 3 years. At the age of nine, he became a youth player for AFC Ajax, playing for the second team of the U11’s. During the early years of his career, Matthijs played as a midfielder. His first goal came when he played for the second team of the U15’s.
Matthijs’ talent was soon noticed by his coach who made him a centre-defender. His first brush with limelight came in 2015 while playing the Future Cup. Though Ajax lost the tournament, Matthijs emerged as the 2015 ABN AMRO Player of the Tournament. He ended the year with yet another Player of the Tournament award for Copa Amsterdam.
After being awarded AFC Ajax Talent of the Future in 2016, Matthijs’ career witnessed a meteoric rise. In August, Matthijs made his professional debut for Jong Ajax in a game against FC Emmen. By September 2016, he had made his debut for Ajax's senior team in a cup game against Willem II. 25 minutes into the game, Matthijs scored his first professional goal, thus becoming the 2nd youngest goal scorer ever, behind Clarence Seedorf. Adding to his list of feats, same year, Matthijs became the youngest player ever to play in a European final. His aerial duels and defensive technique on field earned him not just loads of appreciation, but also a place in Ajax’s senior squad.
Matthijs de Ligt was born on August 12, 1999 in Leiderdorp, Netherland. Right after his birth, the family shifted to Abcoude. At the age of five, he started playing tennis. He was introduced to football by his friend. Immediately fascinated by it, he polished his skills and soon found a place for himself at the FC Abcoude. Talking of his relationship status, Matthijs has been involved with a girl romantically but nothing much is known about her or their love relationship.
Matthijs de Ligt International career
Matthijs de Ligt made his first appearance for the Dutch national team in a 2–0 away defeat to Bulgaria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match on 25 March 2017. Danny Blind, National team coach, called De Ligt up for the national team despite the fact that he had only started two league games for Ajax in that season. At the age of 17, Matthijs de Ligt became the youngest football player to start for the Dutch national team since 1931.
Matthijs de Ligt started and played 90 minutes in all four group matches during the UEFA Nations League against Germany and France. The Netherlands won the group and qualified for the next stage of Nations League. In the semi-finals on 5 June, he netted a header against England as the Netherlands national team secured a spot in the final match, in which the Netherlands was defeated 0–1 by Portugal.
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