Van der Sar: ‘De Ligt’s quality unquestionable, Ronaldo surprised me’

by | Oct 14, 2021 12:05

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar praised Matthijs de Ligt’s work rate, admitted he doesn’t know if Andre Onana will leave on a free transfer to Inter but was ‘surprised’ Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus for Manchester United.

The former Manchester United and Juventus goalkeeper spoke to Tuttosport, as he’s one of the judges to give his vote for the Golden Player 2021.

He spoke about the former Ajax starlet De Ligt’s development at Juventus and said the ‘criticism’ is normal due to his age but hailed the Dutch player’s work rate.

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“Matthijs is surrounded by two masters like [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Leonardo] Bonucci at Juventus, but he’s still playing a lot,” Van der Sar told the newspaper.

“De Ligt’s value is unquestionable. But let’s not forget that he’s 22. Some criticism is normal, it’s part of football, but Matthijs is a guy who loves challenges.

“He’s a top player and has a great mentality: he works hard to improve. De Ligt, even early in the morning, when he wasn’t on the pitch, you would find him at the gym.”

Ajax goalkeeper Onana returns from a doping ban in November 2021 and has been linked with a move to Inter, to replace veteran Samir Handanovic in the future.

Van der Sar was asked if he would be ‘surprised’ if Onana left the Eredivisie giants on a free transfer next summer.

“Hard to say, he’s suspended until November 3,” the former goalkeeper continued. “He’s certainly an excellent goalkeeper. We’ll see.”

And then he was asked about his former teammate at Mancheter United, as Ronaldo returned to the Theatre of Dreams this summer.

“I didn’t expect his farewell from Juventus,” he said. “He surprised me. But it’s always nice to see Cristiano at Old Trafford with the Red Devils shirt.”

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