De Ligt laughs off rumours of being put on low-carb diet because of overweight

The centre-back has rubbished claims he is overweight and feels his performances are improving following a difficult individual start to the season.

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt has laughed off rumours suggesting that he has been put on a low-carb diet by head coach Maurizio Sarri because he is overweight.

The giving away of a penalty in Sunday’s derby clash with Inter was a low point for De Ligt, having previously scored an own goal on his first start for Juve in pre-season.

The 20-year-old is aware that lessons must be learned quickly when adapting to a new league, but he feels that he is on the path to once again playing with full confidence and ignoring outside noise along the way.

“[The article about being put on a low-carb diet and needing one-on-one sessions] really is a wild story,” De Ligt told Nu.nl.

“It doesn’t surprise me any more. Sometimes I think I had a decent game, but apparently there’s something wrong after all. But those are only opinions.

“It’s important to know what I do well and what went wrong – and I know that well.

“Every new player should get the time to adapt to the team. Juventus had two great defenders already with Chiellini and Bonucci.

“The plan was to let me enter the team slowly, but it worked out differently. Obviously it’s great that I get to play already, but you get thrown in at the deep end right away. That’s a great challenge for me.”

“The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need self-confidence. In the beginning, I noticed I was way too concerned about not making mistakes and that’s exactly what you shouldn’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.

“The critiques you get after the game are part of the deal. Unfortunately that’s the life of a defender.

“You’re balancing on such a thin line of playing good or bad. Of course I’d rather not give away a penalty kick, but in the end we won [against Inter] and that’s what matters.