Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt
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Ferdinand reveals why he loves Ajax captain De Ligt

Rio Ferdinand has hailed Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

The 19-year-old has played a crucial role in his side’s run to the Champions League semi-finals, and was a stand out performer as the Dutch side beat Tottenham 1-0 in the first leg of their last four clash on Tuesday night.

The teenage centre-back has become the youngest ever captain in Champions League history to reach the semi-final stage, with former England defender Ferdinand praising the Dutchman’s talent.

“I really, really love this player,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“Youngest captain to ever get to this stage of the tournament, leading his team, and there’s a personality that I like.

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“Barring his footballing ability that you can see is obvious, there’s a personality.

“He looks like he’s meant to be at this stage. I watched him in the Europa League final. You can see there’s a huge difference – the stature, the presence he’s got.

“He’s decisive in his decision making now as well. He’s doesn’t hang about or sit back, he makes a decision and goes for it.

“I think there’s a couple of weaknesses in him still, but that’s in his age, from defending crosses and stuff.

“But he’s learning on the job. He’s learning on the biggest stage and performing.

“He can play. The kid can play. He’s brought up the Ajax way so he can play football when he needs to, but when he needs to get into a foot race of physicality comes into it, he’s determined and he seems like he’s made of the right stuff.

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“He will be on the list of every top team.”

The comments could be of special interest to Manchester United fans, with Ferdinand having been linked with becoming the club’s first ever director of football.