herald

Friday 24 May 2019

De Ligt: Ajax are growing with games

Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt and Lasse Schone celebrate as they progress to the Champions League semi-finals. Photo: REUTERS
Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt and Lasse Schone celebrate as they progress to the Champions League semi-finals. Photo: REUTERS

Matthijs de Ligt hailed Ajax's "unbelievable" achievement after the Dutch club ended their 22-year wait for a Champions League semi-final appearance by shocking Juventus.

Central defender De Ligt, the Ajax captain at just 19 years of age, headed the winner in a 2-1 victory in Turin - the Amsterdam club winning 3-2 on aggregate.

Ajax are the first team in Champions League history to make the semi-finals after surviving three qualifying rounds, and will now meet Manchester City or Tottenham in the last four.

"I can't describe what kind of emotion we have at the moment," De Ligt said after Ajax had added Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus to their list of Champions League victims, having previously eliminated holders Real Madrid.

"It's unbelievable what we achieved, we are a squad from the Netherlands and we show the world what we can do.

"We showed it in the Bernabeu (against Madrid), we showed it against Bayern Munich (at the group stage) and now we showed it against Juventus.

"But we are never satisfied and the next game is also going to be important, we'll see what happens.

"There is so much potential in our team and we are all still young. You see us grow every game."

Ronaldo headed Juventus into a 28th-minute lead with his 126th goal in the competition and his ninth in seven meetings against Ajax.

But Donny Van De Beek levelled six minutes later and De Ligt's winner midway through the second half rewarded Ajax's superiority.

"It was a great corner kick," De Ligt said.

"I jumped and I know I can jump high and head the ball well. That was the perfect moment to score.

"We had so many chances to score at the end, it is 2-1 but it could be 3-1 or 4-1."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News