Although the Juventus defender, 22, plays a completely different position, Van der Sar believes that he has all the makings of a truly world-class player, especially in terms of attitude.
“He [De Ligt] has always reminded me of a young Cristiano Ronaldo,” Van der Sar told Tuttosport. “Like Ronaldo, early in the morning, you’ll find De Ligt in the gym, even before training.
“At Juventus, Matthijs has two perfect role models in [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Leonardo] Bonucci. Even if he’s not playing at that level yet, his ability can’t be questioned.
“Some criticism is normal, it’s part of the game, but Matthijs absolutely loves a challenge. He’s a top player and has a brilliant mentality, who works a lot to improve himself”.