He is big, strong and a true leader. Mattheis de Ligt has everything the new FC Bayern defense chief needs and more.
Nicknames have different origins. Sometimes Sebastian becomes Basti, Matthias becomes Matze and Kimberley becomes Kim. In other cases, the nickname does not come from the (too long) name, but from the optic. Jamal Musial is called "Bembi" by his teammates at FC Bayern or on the national team because of his thin legs. Ailton was "Kugelblitz" because of his small, powerful body.
And Matteis de Ligt? He was called 'Fat' at his former club Ajax of Amsterdam. His formerly round baby face gave him that nickname. At Juventus Turin, the club from which he is now apparently transferring to Bayern (he is due to undergo a medical on Monday), he would have liked the nickname better. Juan Cuadrado once filmed de Ligt eating a salad and called him "The Hulk". However, his fellow defender Giorgio Chiellini gave him a much more appropriate name. In an interview with DAZN, he said: "Mathis is very strong, I always call him 'Thor'. Comparing the center-back to the Scandinavian superhero also gives Bayern fans a greater sense of what is in store for them. Is this knowledge interesting for them when they place their bets online at https://betting-sider.net/bookmakere-bonus/?
It's Matthijs de Ligt
De Ligt brings a massive body. He is 1.88 meters tall and weighs 89kg. The 22-year-old muscular lad can stand up to any striker. His one-on-one prowess is astounding both in the air and on the ground. On the dribble, attackers can hardly outmaneuver him.
He is also a good fit. Football training at Ajaxi Amsterdam is instantly recognizable. De Ligt likes to combine with a supporting midfielder and then run the game himself. Above all, his long diagonal balls are a weapon. An element that Bayern fans have been familiar with since the days of Jérôme Boateng.
He has also learned from the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellin over the past three years since moving to Turin. "Giorgio plays like he's reading a book," de Ligt wrote passionately in the Guardian.
The Dutchman is taking the whole package with him. Defending at the highest level has become more difficult, he told the Guardian and explained: "There were those who just stood in the penalty box and kicked the balls with their heads but couldn't really play football. And there were some defenders who were very good. had good possession of the ball but couldn't defend... Now the trend is that all defenders are quite full.
His most important attribute
While at the club level he has learned from European champions such as Chiellini and Bonucci, where Light plays at Elfthal alongside arguably the best center-back in the world: Virgil van Dijk. The Liverpool defender is also a complete package of a defender that contains both playmaking and physical elements.
The types of players van Dijk and de Ligt are similar, something Lothar Matthäus has already noticed. Germany's record national player told the Bild newspaper: "He is the type of van Dijk who can take on the role of the defensive boss at Bayern, which is lacking there. He is one of the best central defenders in Europe, at 22, such a young player that Bayern would take care of the position for the next few years, a remarkable transfer if it works out - a huge return."
It is the aspect of the head of defense that is also crucial when it comes to assessing why Bayern really wanted De Ligt. In 2018, when he was just 18 years old, he led Ajax onto the pitch with the captain's armband on his arm. De Ligt does not relinquish responsibility, he likes to lead. He fills the vacuum that existed at Bayern after David Alaba left. Nicklas Sule, Lucas Hernandez, Diote Upamekano and Tanguy Nianzou did not play a major role last year. Now the 80 million men from the Netherlands has to do it.
Disadvantages and advantages
Mattheis de Ligt's complete package sounds flawless on the pitch. But he still has room for improvement, especially when it comes to positional play and decision-making. Attentive football fans will remember last year's European Championship. De Ligt faced the Czech Republic in the 1/8 final and was regarded as the clear favorite. But he failed to appreciate a long pass from the Czechs and lost the fight for the ball, falling over and knocking it away with his hand. Next up was a red card -- a few minutes later the Netherlands were out of the European Championship.
But he can work on those shortcomings in Munich with Julian Nagelsmann. It doesn't matter whether Bayern defends in three or four. De Ligt certainly knows a fellow defender. Because he has already played with Nusser Mazraoui at Ajax. And rookie midfielder Ryan Gravenberch is also a familiar face from his training in Amsterdam.
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