Matthijs De Ligt dissapointed over Juventus bench

The Dutchman was an unused substitute as Juventus began their league campaign with a 1-0 win over Parma.

De Ligt made the €85 million move from Ajax to Juventus earlier this summer but was criticised in the Italian media for his performances in pre-season friendlies.

On Saturday, Juventus headed to Parma for their season opener but De Ligt was named on the bench with Maurizio Sarri opting for Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the centre of defence.

“Naturally, I would have preferred to play”, he told Dutch publication AD after last night’s game.

“I did not get the clue during practice, so I did not expect to be benched, but I obviously respect the decision of the coach. I have to be realistic, I am still adapting here in Italy. The two starters, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, have for long been considered the best duo in the world. I will have to fight for the job this season.”

“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. Defensively, the demands are not that different to what I was accustomed to at Ajax, as the Coach wants us to anticipate the movement.

“I am still getting to grips with the language and I know some football terms, but I want to improve my Italian a great deal. I’m attending a course five times a week and that is going well.”

Juventus won their opening game 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal through Chiellini, as De Ligt remained on the bench for the full-game and must now wait to make his league debut.

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