De Ligt: I always wanted to be Ronaldo

Dutch wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt, who was asked to join Juventus by Cristiano Ronaldo, has added to the speculation that he could be joining the Bianconeri, by revealing his admiration for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

De Ligt, 19, has been heavily linked with a number of high-profile European clubs, including the likes of FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, after his eye-catching and matured performances in the heart of defence for Ajax Amsterdam.

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The 2018 Golden Boy winner was initially believed to be on his way to with Barca, but that deal was reportedly called off, with De Ligt's agent Mina Raiola believed to have advised his client against joining the Blaugrana.

With the Italian giants now said to be the frontrunners in the race to secure De Ligt's services, the Ajax skipper has added to the speculation by revealing how he idolised Ronaldo as a kid.

The centre-back, who faced Ronaldo in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season, as well as in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League final, also reflected on sharing a pitch with his boyhood idol.

"Sometimes I realise that everything has gone very fast," he said, as per AS.

"During the season, at the club, and during the various competitions, you really do not have time to reflect. But there are times when I realise that this is not normal.

"Like recently, when I dined with my football friends from the past. Adidas organised that dinner. There were also childhood friends and we started reminiscing. We remembered how I always wanted to be Cristiano Ronaldo when we played football in the garden.

"That was especially during his time when he played for Manchester United. I also had his football shirt.

"That dinner was right after the games with Juventus, in which I had to play against Ronaldo himself, something that is really special."