Matthijs de Ligt - 2018 Golden Boy award winner

Matthijs de Ligt
Award date
17 Dec 2018
Award age
19 and 127 days
Club (when winning)
Birth date
12 Aug 1999
Current club
Bayern Munich (Bayern München)

The Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt was the winner of the prestigious Golden Boy award in December 2018. He won the award ahead of Liverpool's English defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and in third place, another Dutch player, the winger Justin Kluivert (son of former star striker Patrick Kluivert).

He had his football schooling in Ajax

Matthijs de Ligt was born in Leiderdorp, a small town just outside of Leiden, but grew up in Abcoude just south and this is where his football career began. Because of his obvious football talent he joined the famous and prestigious youth team of Ajax at the age of nine. At the age of 17 he made his debut for the Ajax B side, named Jong Ajax ("Young Ajax"). After just a few months in Jong Ajax he was rewarded a promotion to join Ajax first team

Pretty fast after he made his debut in Ajax he cemented himself as a part of the first team and the season after, 2017/2018, he got his breakthrough. Not only did he become a regular in Ajax, in March 2018 he also was made captain of the team, the youngest captain in Ajax history.

Leaving Ajax

After a very successful UEFA Champions League season 2018/2019 where they reached the semi-finals with a very young and promising team, Juventus opened up the wallet to sign de Ligt in July 2019 for a €75 million fee. He did have a good spell at Juventus but when Bayern Munich wanted to sign him in July 2022, Juventus who was in need of the money, couldn't say no.

De Ligt was a steady regular in the Dutch youth national teams from U15 to U19. He made his debut for the senior national team on the 25th of March 2017 at the age of only 17 and has basically been a regular there since, thus missing out on ever playing for the U21 Dutch team. His debut in the senior team was a World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria, a match that the Netherlands lost with 2-0.

Q&A about Matthijs de Ligt

Is Matthijs de Ligt the youngest player in the Dutch national team ever?
He is actually not, but when he debuted in the national team, at the age of 17 years and 225 days, he was the youngest player representing the Netherlands since 1931.
How many professional clubs have Matthijs de Ligt played in?
So far in his career he has represented Ajax, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

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