Matthijs de Ligt says Ajax are a match for anyone
‘The next games will be very difficult, but so were these ones. So who knows?’
Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax celebrates victory with his team in Turin. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Matthijs de Ligt believes Ajax’s young team have shown they are a match for anyone after he scored the goal against Juventus that took them to the Champions League semi-final for the first time since 1997.
“Can we can go on to win the competition? Well, we are in the semi-finals now. And we have eliminated two of the favourites in the last two rounds,” he said. “The next games will be very difficult, but so were these ones. So who knows?” We don’t know what we can achieve but we are never satisfied. There’s so much potential in this team, we are all still quite young and you see us grow every game.”
Ajax fell behind to Cristiano Ronaldo’s header in the first half before Donny van de Beek’s equaliser drew the tie level on aggregate, with De Ligt’s winner just reward for superb second-half display.
“We dominated after the break and were well worth our victory,” said Frenkie De Jong. “In fact, we probably should have won by more.”
De Jong will join Barcelona in the summer for €75m and appears likely to be joined by fellow youth team graduate De Ligt. Speaking after his side’s 3-0 win over Manchester United that also took them into the semi-finals, Barça director Guillermo Amor hinted that a deal may have already been struck for the teenager.
“He’s a player of Ajax and we respect the club,” he said. “We don’t talk about players from other teams although I know where he will play next year.”