For someone who narrowly missed out on going to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and UEFA EURO 2012 – both of which Spain went on to win – David de Gea is remarkably sanguine. “I was very young and knew that there were very good keepers with more experience ahead of me. I just had to keep working in the knowledge that other opportunities would come along,” the Spaniard told FIFA.com.
De Gea’s assessment was spot-on, as chances then came thick and fast for the still-young shot-stopper. One of those pros who appear to have been on the scene for years, the Manchester United No1 is still just 24 but already possesses winner’s medals in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup, a European U-19 and U-21 title, as well as a runner’s up medal from the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
After the disappointment of missing out on Spain’s successes in 2010 and 2012, the Madrid native was thrilled to be named in La Roja’s squad for the 2014 World Cup. “Thank God I was fortunate enough to be selected for Brazil,” he said, before adding after a brief pause: “Well, the memory is a bittersweet one. I was really excited with it being my first full World Cup, but the result is obviously one to forget. On top of that, I injured myself out there… A World Cup can be very difficult. You need to go into it in very good form and play with immense focus. Otherwise, the smallest things could have you on a flight home.”