Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar has likened Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt to Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of his desire “to be the best in the world.”

De Ligt has endured a rocky start to his Juve career after being thrown in as cover for the injured Giorgio Chiellini, but Van der Sar has no concerns about the 20-year-old.

“His mentality, that of someone who always tries to improve, makes him want to be the best in the world,” the Bianconeri’s former No 1 told ESPN.

“I’ve already seen some players like him. One of them plays for his own team and it’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I played with him at Manchester United and saw the same desire to work hard and be the best.

“He has the same desire and hunger as De Ligt. Matthijs is only 19 years old. He was fantastic with us at Ajax: he was our rock and captain.

“In Italy he must learn a new language, he must get to know his new teammates. 

“Chiellini’s injury helped him get into the team right away but maybe put more pressure on his shoulders.”

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Football Italia staff