Ballon d'Or 2019: De Ligt targets Juventus success after winning Kopa Trophy

By Sports Desk December 02, 2019

Matthijs de Ligt set his sights on team success with Juventus after claiming a prestigious individual prize at the Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday.

The Netherlands international was named the 2019 winner of the Kopa Trophy, given annually to the best player in the world aged under 21.

De Ligt described the award as an "honour" and hoped it would not be his last taste of silverware for the season.

Juve, the club he joined from Ajax in July, have long harboured ambitions to win the Champions League and are locked in a Serie A title race with Antonio Conte's Inter.

"Inter will be a difficult challenge because they are a great team with great players," De Ligt told reporters in Paris.

"But the season is long and for us it is all about winning.

"In the league or in the cup? I don't make distinctions, it's all important. We want to win everything.

"At Juve there are world-class defenders who will help me grow and become even stronger."

De Ligt was part of the Juve side that drew 2-2 at home to Sassuolo over the weekend, which allowed Inter to take a one-point lead at the top.

The Bianconeri will look to bounce back away to in-form Lazio on Saturday.

Related items

  • Roma won't rush Zaniolo after long-awaited return – Fonseca Roma won't rush Zaniolo after long-awaited return – Fonseca

    Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca said the club will not rush Nicolo Zaniolo after the Italian star made his long-awaited comeback from injury.

    Zaniolo has flourished in the Italian capital since arriving from rivals Inter in 2018 but he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in January.

    However, the 21-year-old returned to action on Sunday – coming off the bench in the 66th minute of Roma's 2-1 Serie A loss to Napoli in a huge boost for Fonseca's side.

    "He had no more than 30 minutes, slowly he will become important again," Fonseca said post-match.

    "He entered a difficult moment but tried to help the team. Soon Zaniolo will be ready to help the team."

    Fonseca added: "It has been a positive moment, it has been a long time out and he is not yet in the best conditions to play many minutes. 

    "However, it was important for him to come back against a great team. Let's see how he responds during the week, we must be careful of this moment. Let's not forget that he's been out for a long time."

    Roma lost their third consecutive game to be sixth in the Serie A table with eight matches remaining.

  • Retired Jamaica international McAnuff determined to be more than passenger at Leyton Orient Retired Jamaica international McAnuff determined to be more than passenger at Leyton Orient

    Retired Jamaica international Jobi McAnuff insists he is not just along for the ride after signing a new one-year contract with England League Two club Leyton Orient.

    McANuff the club captain, will be 39 years old later this year and transitioned to a player/coach role last season.  He will be in a similar capacity this year but despite being the senior statesman of sorts is determined to be more than just a passenger on the pitch.

    “I don’t just want to be a bit part or be here for the ride, I want to contribute, that’s a big, big thing for me,” McAnuff said in an interview with the club’s official website.

    “I’m feeling good,” he added.

     “Last year, as everyone knows, was frustrating. I worked really hard to get back to playing, and I’ve got a lot of work again to get to the level I want to get to.”

    The injury kept McAnuff out of action for almost the entire season, not playing his first match until March.  Orient coach Ross Embleton is confident the Jamaica midfielder will be a major contributor both on and off the pitch – and is delighted to see him stay.

    “He’s been at the club since I came back, and we all know what an inspiration he is on the pitch,” Embleton said.

    McAnuff has made 141 appearances for the O’s in two spells.

     

  • Inter players need to share my disappointment, fumes Conte Inter players need to share my disappointment, fumes Conte

    Antonio Conte hopes Inter players feel at least "one per cent" of his disappointment following their 2-1 Serie A defeat to Bologna at San Siro on Sunday.

    Inter had forged ahead in the first half courtesy of Romelu Lukaku before Bologna's Roberto Soriano received a red card for dissent after 57 minutes. 

    Lautaro Martinez could have all but wrapped up the win from the penalty spot five minutes later but Lukasz Skorupski kept out his tame effort.

    That gave the impetus to the visitors, who roared back to steal a stunning winning thanks to goals in the final 16 minutes from Musa Juwara and Musa Barrow, either side of a red card for Inter's Alessandro Bastoni.

    Conte, who spent close to an hour in the changing room with his side before talking to the media, could not hide his frustration and says his players should be angry at their display.

    "The disappointment is enormous, at least as far as I'm concerned," he told reporters. "I hope this disappointment that I feel is also felt by the players for at least one per cent. 

    "I am angry at myself because I'm the manager. I have my responsibilities; I am the one who directs the situation and it is right that I am very angry first of all with myself. Then I think that the players must also be with themselves."

    The setback leaves Conte's side four points behind second-placed Lazio and just one ahead of Atalanta in the battle for Champions League qualification.

    Conte is under no illusions that he is expected to win trophies at Inter and says he fully expects to be scrutinised when things do not go well.

    "Situations are evaluated only by facing them," he added. 

    "For me this is the first year of working with Inter and I have taken a situation with many situations to improve. At the same time, I also say that it is right to challenge everyone, me first. 

    "I was brought here for a winning project and to bring Inter back to winning things. Clearly, the victory does not come overnight, but many situations leave a lot of bitterness. You think you are at a level and instead you are at a much lower level. 

    "From here to the end we will all have to prove that we deserve Inter. Otherwise it is right to make other decisions too."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.