De Ligt notices the difference between Champions League campaigns with Bayern and Ajax

Matthijs de Ligt has discussed his Champions League journey with Bayern Munich. The Dutchman will face Arsenal in the quarterfinals on Wednesday evening, comparing this match to the previous Champions League quarterfinal he played with Ajax.

De Ligt notices the difference between Champions League campaigns with Bayern and Ajax
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In 2019, Matthijs de Ligt faced his future team Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals with Ajax, where the Amsterdammers advanced to the next round.

Now, as he prepares for another quarterfinal, this time with Bayern Munich, his perspective has shifted. "With Ajax, it was all hosanna," De Ligt told NOS. "But now with Bayern, it’s kind of a must."

This sentiment underscores the high expectations at Bayern Munich, widely regarded as one of the elite clubs in world football. "That says something about the level I am playing at now; Bayern is simply one of the best teams in the world," continues De Ligt, who has regained a starting position at the German powerhouse and is in good form. His early season struggles, where he saw less playtime, drew criticism, prompting many to speculate about his future with the team. "The criticism was more something from the start of the season, when I played less. They naturally start looking for an explanation. But since the winter, I've been playing again and I feel good."

A significant factor in De Ligt's resurgence has been a return to his natural playing position. "I have played almost all the last matches. I am in good form and am now playing on the right side of the center, in my natural position. That makes things a bit easier," he explained.

Bayern’s recent 2-2 draw against Arsenal in London epitomized the strategic shifts the team has embraced. The result sets the stage for a crucial home game, where Bayern hopes to capitalize on their advantages. "Especially in these kinds of Champions League matches, you see that we play more on the counter, and then you see our extreme quality come to the forefront," De Ligt noted. He highlighted the team's strengths, including "extreme speed upfront, a lot of running ability in midfield, and strong defenders at the back."

As Bayern prepares for the return leg against Arsenal, the focus is clear: leverage their counterattacking prowess and robust defensive setup to overcome their opponents. With a blend of seasoned players and dynamic tactics, Bayern Munich is poised to make a strong push for the Champions League title, reflecting their status as one of the preeminent forces in European football.