Interesting Facts About David De Gea

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David De Gea (born 7 May 1992) is a Spanish professional football goalkeeper who currently plays for and captains Manchester United, for whom he is club captain. He has previously played for Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Spain. De Gea began his football career at the age of eight with his local team in his hometown of Bilbao. After progressing through the youth ranks at Athletic Bilbao, he made his first-team debut in the 2010–11 season. Having spent four years in the first team, and having won the Europa League in the 2015–16 season, De Gea signed a new five-year contract with the club in August 2016. In 2019, he became the first goalkeeper to be awarded the Zamora Trophy.

Early Life and Education

De Gea was born in Spain and raised in London, England. He has one elder brother, Ander, who is also a professional footballer. Growing up, he was a fan of the likes of Iker Casillas and former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech, who both play for his current club, Manchester United. He was also a fan of Real Madrid prior to the 2015–16 season, following the departure of Iker Casillas. In December 2010, De Gea began his studies at the London Business School. In January 2014, he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Sports Management, having taken his finals at the end of that year. If you are a fan of David De Gea, follow the link below and learn more about him.

Club Career

On 9 July 2011, De Gea began his professional career when he joined Real Madrid, the team he supports, on a five-year contract. He made his first-team debut for Real on 11 December 2011, in a league game against Osasuna. At the time, Real were in the middle of a seven-game losing streak and were without a recognised goalkeeper; manager José Mourinho later said that he decided to put De Gea in goal for the Osasuna game to give him some game time. The following day, De Gea made his La Liga debut, replacing the injured Fábio Coentrão at half-time in a 3–1 away win over Racing Club. However, he was sent-off after the break for throwing a water bottle at the crowd, and was subsequently suspended for one match. Despite this disruption and the struggles of his former club, Atlético Madrid, with Diego Godín and Roberto Trashorras, De Gea still managed to appear in 44 matches in all competitions in his first season.

On 7 December 2012, De Gea was given his first professional chance in the Champions League, on a midweek match away to Ludogorets in Bulgaria. He made several important saves in the penalty area – two of which were vital in keeping the score down – and the team prevailed 2–1. On 29 March 2013, De Gea helped Real Madrid to a 5–0 home win over Granada, rescuing a number of missed penalties as he finished with nine saves. He made his 100th appearance for the club the following month on 11 April 2013 in a 1–0 win away to Osasuna. Due to a back problem in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, De Gea did not appear in any of Spain’s matches in Brazil. On his return, he began training with the first team again, missing only one match for Madrid’s B team. De Gea was the starting goalkeeper for both legs of Madrid’s UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against city rivals – and fierce local rivals – Barcelona.

He started both matches and kept a clean sheet in the first leg at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, before an injury-time goal by Ivan Rakitic gave Barcelona a 1–0 victory in the second leg. Nevertheless, Madrid were eliminated from Champions League contention on the away goals rule. For his excellent performances for Real Madrid, De Gea was awarded the Golden Glove as the goalkeeper with the highest number of saves in La Liga during the 2012–13 season.

On 8 June 2014, it was announced that De Gea had signed a new three-year contract with the Spanish club, which will see him remain at the club until the end of the 2017–18 season. He made his 150th appearance for Real Madrid a few days earlier on 4 June 2014, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

International Career

De Gea began playing for Spain at a young age. He featured for the under-17 team at the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Serbia and at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. He made two appearances for Spain’s under-21 team at the 2012 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Turkey. On 16 May 2013, De Gea was called up to the senior Spain squad for the first time for a friendly with Macedonia. He returned to the team in November 2014 for another friendly, against Austria, and was selected in the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 15 June 2016, De Gea was called up to the Spain squad for the Euro 2016 tournament, held in his home country.

He appeared as a starter in all six of his team’s matches at the tournament and helped his side reach the quarter-finals. On 29 March 2017, De Gea was named in the Spain squad for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, hosted in his home country. On 16 June, he started in the 2–1 semi-final win over Australia, which confirmed Spain as hosts of the final against Mexico. He conceded only one goal in the tournament (from a penalty), but could not prevent Spain losing 2–1 to Mexico in the final. In total, De Gea made 14 appearances in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and kept a clean sheet in every match. On 8 June 2018, De Gea was named in the Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in Russia.

He was an unused sub in the team’s opening game against Argentina, a 2–0 win. He started in goal for the Round of 16 match against Nigeria, which ended in a 1–1 draw. In the quarter-finals, he was picked ahead of newcomer Willy Adémi as the starter, but Ezequiel Schelotto’s early goal handed the team a 1–0 loss. He played every minute of Spain’s campaign in the 2019 FIFA World Cup, conceding only one goal during the group stage. In total, De Gea played 21 matches for Spain in the World Cup and kept 15 clean sheets. On 21 June 2019, De Gea was named in the Spain squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.

On 2 September 2019, he started for Spain in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb, which finished in a 1–1 draw. Spain eventually won the game in a penalty shootout. On 6 October 2019, he started in the 1–0 win over Georgia in the second group game of the Euro 2020 qualifiers, keeping a clean sheet for the first time since the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

As well as playing internationally for Spain, De Gea has also captained the country at youth and senior level. He was appointed as Spain’s under-21 captain in 2014 and led the team at the 2016 UEFA European U-21 Championship, where he was also the team’s top goalkeeper, making seven saves in Denmark’s eventual 3–2 win over Turkey. In March 2018, De Gea was called up to the senior Spain squad for the first time for a friendly against Paraguay in Madrid.

On 15 June 2018, he was named in the Spain squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he would start all four of Spain’s group stage matches, keeping a clean sheet in the first two matches before a 3–0 defeat in Russia. In December 2019, he was named in the Spain squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, and on 2 September he started in a 3–0 away win over Georgia. On 6 October 2019, he started in a 2–1 win over Kosovo, becoming the first goalkeeper in Spain’s history to keep a clean sheet in six consecutive matches for his country.

Style and Substance

De Gea is known for being a very aggressive goalkeeper who takes his job seriously. In an interview with Marca, he stated: “When I was young, my father always used to say that I was the laziest person he had ever known. He would come back from work and I would be lying in bed with a book. He would say that he could not understand it, since all I ever did was lie in bed and read. One day he came home and found me lying in bed with a football in my hands. He asked if I had been playing and I told him it was just for fun. He said that he did not want to compete with a hobby for the attention of the family.”

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