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News Article

Van Basten criticises De Ligt for defending and lack of leadership

Marco van Basten launched stinging criticism of Matthijs de Ligt's defending and said he must become a leader after the Netherlands qualified for the last 16 of Euro 2020.

De Ligt recovered from injury to make his first appearance of the tournament in a 2-0 victory over Austria at Johan Cruijff Arena, helping the Oranje win Group C. The Juventus centre-back had a comfortable evening at the centre of the Netherlands' back three, but Netherlands great Van Basten says the 21-year-old still has a lot to learn and wants to see him take more responsibility.

He told NOS: "He is a central defender and must convey more leadership. He must make himself heard, assert himself because he has to lead the defence. Instead, he just runs after his man, leaving a huge hole. De Ligt went to Italy. to learn how to defend, but I don't think he learned much there."

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