De Ligt and a punishment.
A punishment that the Dutch defender himself inflicted on himself by exposing himself to public ridicule after the defeat against the Czech Republic (0-2), which cost them the elimination in the Round of 16. "Obviously, it hurts, basically, we lost because of what I did," explained the defender in the immediate aftermath of the match, who was sent off in the 10th minute of the second half for a handball.
"With hindsight, it is clear that I should not have let the ball bounce. The sending-off made the difference."
One thing should be noted: as well as his arm, De Ligt put his face in front of the camera. In a way, everyone was surprised not only for the mistake he made but also for his dignified and responsible reaction. So much so that in a very short time came the... reply. Inter player Stefan de Vrij - who is not only a rival for the Scudetto but also a close friend of Matthijs - explained: "It wasn't his fault. Matthijs has a great sense of responsibility and although he is still young he is already very mature. He has become a great defender, but he still has a lot of room for improvement, after this episode, he will become even stronger."
In fact, De Vrij emphasizes something that is often overlooked: De Ligt is 21 years old. He is little more than a boy. The statistics are hard to believe: 208 appearances between Juventus and Ajax, 41 of which in European cups. Plus 30 appearances for the senior national team. Even the Ajax captain's armband officially obtained on 14 August 2018. And yet we are still talking about a little more than a teenager. A little more than a teenager who makes mistakes, but who also knows how to react as a more than mature man. And if it's true that it's not how many times you fall that counts, but how many times you get back up... Well, it is possible that what De Vrij said ('after this episode, he will become even stronger') could be true.