Stam reveals he’d ‘love to coach’ in Italy and has high praise for De Ligt

Jaap Stam has revealed his desire to coach in Italy one day and he thinks JuventusMatthijs de Ligt can become ‘the best defender in the world’.

The former Lazio and Milan defender was most recently coach of FC Cincinnati in the MLS, leaving the job after a year last summer. Before that he’s worked with Feyenoord, Zwolle, Reading and the Ajax second team.

Speaking in an interview with Alfredo Pedulla, Stam first discussed his interest in coaching in Italy one day in the future and what kind of offer he’d need.

“I’m back in the family, football is important but the ties are just as important. I would love to coach in your country, I have not forgotten Italy. I love it, the culture and the people, not to mention the way we live football.

“I’m always willing to listen to any kind of offer, but the technical project must take precedence over everything, even the economic part. I think that nowadays, regardless of the name of the club, the project is more important than the salary.”

He highlighted that he believes the Netherlands to have some of the strongest defenders in the world, praising Juventus’ De Ligt.

“What’s happening doesn’t change my opinion on Italy, which has always had great defenders. Often the best, I think De Ligt will be the best defender in the world, but these guys represent the present and the future of Holland. I think the national team can still be very successful.”

Finally Stam discussed Ajax teenager Ryan Gravenberch, who is one of the most exciting youngsters in the Eredivisie.

Ryan Gravenberch is one of the most interesting prospects among the new… tulips. Although he is still very young, he already has all the characteristics of a great midfielder. He has pace, quality, stamina, tactical sense. The classic box-to-box footballer.

“I think another year in Holland could be useful for him to complete his maturation and prepare him for a top-level league.

“I can see him doing well in any top club, but whoever buys him must not be in a hurry and must strongly believe in his qualities, because he still lacks that quid of experience that can only be acquired on the field. In any case, this is a boy destined for a great future.”

Stam spent five years of his playing career in Serie A, from 2001 to 2006. During that time, he had a three year spell with Lazio before spending two years in the Lombardy capital with Milan.

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