Matthijs De Ligt 'Didn't Expect' To Be Benched In Juventus' First Game
Matthijs de Ligt 'didn't expect' to be on the bench for Juventus' opening Serie A game of the season against Parma last night.
Juventus ended up winning the game 1-0 thanks to a Giorgio Chiellini strike but a big talking point was the strength of their bench.
Young Dutch defender de Ligt was one of those names on the sidelines.
Following the game, he discussed his omission from the starting line up.
Per Football Italia, the former Ajax captain explained:
"Naturally, I would've preferred to play and I didn't get any clues from training, so I didn't expect to be on the bench," de Ligt told reporters.
"Obviously, I respect the decision of the Coach. I must be realistic, as I am still settling in here in Italy.
"The defenders who played, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, were considered for a long time to be the best centre-back partnership in the world.
A rare goal for Giorgio Chiellini!
The Juventus captain with the first goal of the Serie A 19/20 season! :flag_it:
Striker's instinct! :eyes:#SerieA pic.twitter.com/PTkG7NzmVK
- Premier Sports :tv: (@PremierSportsTV) August 24, 2019
The Dutch international also explained some of methods new coach Maurizio Sarri wants to use with his Juve defence.
"I have to earn my place throughout the season.
"The first five weeks have been tough on a physical level, but I do notice that I'm getting stronger.
:three: more days to the beginning of Serie A! Prima partita con la @juventusfc :black_circle::white_circle: #ForzaJuve#finoallafine pic.twitter.com/xlQmkmxbEj
- Matthijs de Ligt (@mdeligt_04) August 21, 2019
"Defensively, the demands are not that different to what I was accustomed to at Ajax, as the Coach wants us to anticipate the movement."
The centre-back has also said he is taking regular Italian lessons to learn the language.
De Ligt will be hoping to get on the pitch for Juve sooner rather than later following his £67.5 million transfer from Ajax in the summer.
Elsewhere in the game, Cristiano Ronaldo was denied his first goal of the season due to VAR.
Ronaldo thought he had opened his account for the season when he smashed a powerful low shot past Luigi Sepe in the 33rd minute.
The Juventus superstar was swamped by his teammates as he celebrated his goal.
But then VAR was called into action and ruled that the 34 year-old had received the ball in an offside position.
VAR denies Cristiano Ronaldo!- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 24, 2019
His goal is disallowed after he was ruled offside :x: pic.twitter.com/v3LNTn1Vj4
Juventus look likely to win Serie A again this season.
But their fans will be hoping they can see de Ligt feature as the season progresses.