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De Ligt ignoring critics after Juve switch

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt says it is important to block out the critics and play with confidence following a tough start to life in Turin.

The Dutch international was in hot demand during the summer following an impressive season with Ajax, but he turned down all offers and opted for a move to the Bianconeri.

The aim was to ease him in gently, but following an injury to Giorgio Chiellini, he has been thrown in at the deep end alongside Leonardo Bonucci in central defence.

The media have not been kind. He performances have been criticised, while some even claimed that he had been put on a low-carb diet by Maurizio Sarri to get him in shape.

De Ligt has laughed off such rumours but says he has been forced to ignore the critics and play with confidence, something he believes is starting to pay off.

"The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need self-confidence," he said. "In the beginning, I noticed I was way too concerned about not making mistakes and that's exactly what you should't do.

"I never played that way and in my first weeks I was too focused on that. After that game against Atletico Madrid I called myself to order, in a way.

"I wanted to play with confidence again. Maybe still some things will go wrong, but at least I know for sure things are better than before. Since then I have an upward trend."

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