Saviour between the sticks

From a novice shot stopper to a sublime goalie, he is capable of outlandish stunts of aesthetic and physical beauty that leave the football world muted in awe.

At 6’3”, Possessing outstanding reflexes, terrific maturity and tremendous anticipation, he exudes a formidable aura immobilizing strikers before they even take the shot.

Early Life

David de Gea Quintana was born in Born in Madrid on November 7, 1990.

His interest in the sport is evident when teachers would know where to find him, in case he was missing from class. He was also great at basketball, thanks to his height, but his love for football always shone through and before he shifted to goalkeeping, he was a part of the outfield players.

In fact, even his transition into the English set-up wasn’t smooth, Eric Steele, the coach who worked closely with De Gea’s calls him “lazy” when it comes to learning English, who would often be caught “training poorly” and eating “too many tacos”.

Career

Club Career

He started his career aged 10 with Atlético Madrid and made his way up through the youth ranks at the club. He made his debut for the Atlético first-team at the age of 18.

 With very calm and flawless performances De Gea gave the team some much needed stability at the back. De Gea finished the season as the starting goalkeeper and helped Atlético win the Europa League, as well as reaching the final of the Copa del Rey. 

De Gea started 2010–11 in impressive fashion, helping Atlético win the season’s UEFA Super Cup. He held on to his good form throughout the season and got the attention of top European clubs including Manchester United.

At the end of the season, the Red Devils ended up paying €20m for the services of the young goalkeeper.

De Gea made his first appearance for his new club in 2011. He did not enjoy a good start at the club as he made sloppy mistakes and conceded silly goals giving the upper hand to the opposition.

However, his performance improved and maturity was seen in his game as he came out with a string of impressive and stunning saves in the second half of the season.

His form continued to the next season as provided crucial saves for the team and was recognised by his peers, culminating him being voted into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. 

De Gea ended the season with his first Premier League winner’s medal with United, making 28 appearances and keeping 11 clean sheets.

International Career

De Gea helped Spain’s under-17 team win the 2007 European Championship.

In 2011, he was part of the Spain under-21 team that won the 2011 European Championship.

Achievements

There are several tournaments and titles that his teams have won thanks to his contributions. Man Utd has won Premier League: 2012–13 and FA Community Shield: 2011, 2013. The Spanish U17 bagged the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship: 2007 and the Spain U21 team won the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship: 2011, 2013 in his presence.

He was also declared as the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for 2013-14 and Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year for 2013-14.

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