Matthijs de Ligt wanted to be Cristiano Ronaldo, he's played against Cristiano Ronaldo and soon he will be playing with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain were in for him while there was some interest from Manchester United, but the Ajax skipper has accepted a five-year contract offer from Juventus worth €24 million (£21.6 million) a year, according to The Guardian.
And it seems as though the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo was a key factor in the Dutch defender's decision. When de Ligt was a kid, his first ever football shirt had Ronaldo on the back and he would regularly imitate the Portuguese star in his back garden.
"During the season, at the club and during competitions, you don't really have the time to review everything as a player," he told Dutch magazine VI last month.
"But sometimes there are times when I realise that it is not normal. Like recently, when I had dinner with some childhood friends.
"We came to the conclusion that I always wanted to be Cristiano Ronaldo when we were playing football in the garden. That was especially in his time when he played at Manchester United.
"My first football shirt also belonged to him from that time. That dinner was just after the meetings with Juventus, in which I had to fight duels with the same Ronaldo."
The 19-year old came up against his idol in the Champions League quarter finals last season and captained Ajax to a 3-2 aggregate victory, scoring the decisive goal in the second leg at the Allianz Stadium.
Then, when they met again in the UEFA Nations League final, it was Ronaldo who emerged victorious. But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner cheekily tried to tap him up after the game.
:speaking_head: De Ligt: "Ronaldo asked me to come to Juventus. I was a little shocked by that question, that's why I laughed. I didn't understand him at first."- Goal (@goal) June 22, 2019
Agent Ronaldo? :eyes: pic.twitter.com/lTGTsmbduK
When De Ligt was asked if he would be Ronaldo's teammate at the Old Lady, he told NOS Sport via GOAL: "That could be true, yes.
"I didn't understand him at first. I was a little shocked, so I laughed, but I didn't say anything.
"Shortly after the game, you are not at all concerned with it, you are disappointed you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about."
Thanks to the work from his agent Mino Raiola, De Ligt will earn a basic salary of around £270,000-a-week with add-ons increasing his possible earnings to an insane £415,000-a-week.
The Serie A champions are expected to place a €150 million (£134 million) release clause in his contract in Turin.
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