One of Bayern Munich’s big transfer moves from last summer was the acquisition of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.
The Dutch defender got off to a slow start as he improved his fitness, but has now fully ingrained himself into the squad — and also the club’s culture.
An important player on the pitch, De Ligt is also immensely popular with his teammates. His much celebrated goal line clearance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League will go down as one of the club’s plays of the season.
“For me that was as if I had scored a goal. Never give up, that’s my motto. I always give everything until the last moment,” De Ligt told Sport Bild’s Tobi Altschäffl.
The play earned him 700 kg of chocolate (since donated) and the respect of many within the club.
“He embodies the Bayern mentality. He’s a guarantee at the back, solid as a rock. You have the feeling that nobody gets past him. That’s exactly the mentality that we wanted. Matthijs is a great transfer,” said team president Herbert Hainer.
De Ligt’s impact has been so great that he could be in line to join the club’s leadership council.
“For me today, that’s not important yet. Most importantly, I want to do well on the pitch — then we’ll see what happens,” said De Ligt.
One thing is certain, De Ligt has evolved into the type of player who could lead the backline in Bavaria for a very long time.