Matthijs de Ligt revealed Cristiano Ronaldo’s request for him to join Juventus “didn’t make the difference” as he had already decided by then.
Juventus confirmed their capture of De Ligt on Thursday morning after finally settling on a €75m deal with Ajax.
The 19-year-old defender was one of Europe’s most sought after talents following his stunning progress at Ajax, where he captained them to the Champions League semi-finals and the Eredivise title last season.
Therefore, Barcelona and Manchester United were both determined to sign the highly-rated youngster.
But De Ligt instead favoured a move to Italy with Juventus, and signed a five-year contract worth €12m per season.
Now, for the first time, the teenager has opened up on his intriguing exchange with new team-mate Ronaldo following Portugal’s Nations League final victory over the Netherlands last month.
“I’m still young but I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience for a 19-year-old, that’s why I made this move to gain more experience and to learn from the players here,” said De Ligt, according to Daily Mail.
“It’s a big step, my first outside of my home country. I was really honoured with how the Juventus fans welcomed me and I hope that I can give a lot back.
“After the Nations League final I was already sure that I wanted to join Juventus, but it was still a big compliment to have Cristiano ask me to join here but it didn’t make the difference.
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“I have to get used to a new sporting culture here and a new sporting environment and I hope that I can give my best.”
New Bianconeri boss Maurizio Sarri, on the other hand, proved to be a key factor behind De Ligt’s move thanks to his footballing philosophy.
“I spoke to Sarri on the phone before coming just to get to know each other,” continued De Ligt.
“He was one of the reasons that I wanted to join here, I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and I like his footballing philosophy and how he prepares his defence.
“In Holland, there is a lot of building from the back and defending high up the pitch. Italy is more about zonal marking and defending together, I think that Juve can help me and I can help them.
“I’m 19, I can still improve and I want to do that. It’s important to work hard every day and to learn and I hope to become a better player.”
The Dutchman added: “Ajax was a younger environment and here I hope that I can learn from great champions like (Giorgio) Chiellini, (Gianluigi) Buffon, Cristiano (Ronaldo) and many others.”
De Ligt could make his Juventus debut on Sunday against Tottenham in the club’s in the International Champions Cup (ICC) opener in Singapore.