David de Gea Quintana (born November 7, 1990) is a goalkeeper for Manchester United in the Premier League and the Spanish national team. Throughout the latter half of the 2010s, he was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world. De Gea began his playing career with Atlético Madrid, rising through the club’s academy system before making his senior debut in 2009, at the age of 18.
He was born in Madrid and raised in nearby Illescas. He helped Atlético Madrid win the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2010 after being promoted to first-choice goalkeeper. De Gea joined Manchester United in June 2011 for £18.9 million, a British record at the time for a goalkeeper.De Gea has won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup, three Community Shields, and the UEFA Europa League since joining Manchester United.
From 2013–14 to 2015–16, he was named United’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year three times in a row (four times in total), making him the first player in the award’s history to win it three times in a row (four times in total), as well as being named to four PFA Team of the Year sides in a row (five in total) from 2015 to 2018. He was selected for the FIFA FIFPro World11 in 2018.
Many people believe De Gea will take over as Spain’s long-term goalkeeper from Iker Casillas. De Gea was the captain of Spain’s under-21 national team, which won the European Championship in 2011 and 2013, and also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2014, he made his senior team debut and was named to the World Cup squad for that year.
De Gea was named Spain’s starting goalkeeper for the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but his performance in the latter drew criticism. For the 2020 European Championship, he lost his spot to Unai Simón. De Gea entered the 2020–21 season with a true challenger for Manchester United’s number one shirt for the first time since joining the club, thanks to the return of Dean Henderson after an extended loan spell at Sheffield United.
De Gea started the season as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper, missing only two of the club’s first 26 league games: he was left out of the squad for the match against West Ham United on 5 December 2020 after aggravating an injury sustained in the club’s previous league game against Southampton, while Henderson was preferred against Sheffield United on 17 December.
De Gea played the entire 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet in Manchester United’s 9–0 home win over Southampton on February 2, 2021, equaling the Premier League record. De Gea also started five of Manchester United’s six Champions League group matches, but after the side finished third in their group and was relegated to the Europa League, Henderson was preferred in goal for the knockout stage of the Europa League.
De Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his first child in early March 2021, which allowed Henderson to take over as first-choice goalkeeper in the league, and De Gea began to be preferred in the Europa League; he kept clean sheets in both quarter-final matches against Granada, and on May 6, he made nine saves in a 3–2 away defeat to Roma in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final, as United advanced to the final with an 8–5 aggregate victory De Gea missed his team’s final penalty in the 2021 UEFA Europa League Final, which Villarreal won 11–10 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 1–1 after extra time.
De Gea’s league campaign began with a goal surrendered against Leeds United. In a 1–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, he recorded his first clean sheet of the campaign. De Gea saved his first penalty for Manchester United since a 2016 FA Cup encounter against Everton in the fifth gameweek of the season, denying Mark Noble of West Ham United from the spot in the final action of the game, ensuring a 2–1 victory for the Reds thanks to a late goal from Jesse Lingard.
De Gea was diagnosed with farsightedness in January 2012, however his performances are not deemed to have been impaired.De Gea has mentioned that he enjoys heavy metal music, and that one of his favourite bands is Avenged Sevenfold. He’s married to Edurne, a Spanish singer. Their first child, a daughter named Yanay, was born on March 4, 2021. De Gea began his career as a highly promising prospect, and he quickly established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the world, with some even proclaiming him to be the best goalkeeper in the world right now.
De Gea grew up playing futsal as an outfield player until he was 14 years old, which has aided his footwork. He has also incorporated numerous futsal goalkeeping tactics into his play style, which shows in his ability to make athletic saves with his feet. His unconventional yet efficient goalkeeping style of making saves with his feet has earned him the title of “changing goalkeeper.”
De Gea is a graceful and athletic goalkeeper recognised for his exceptional reflexes, agility, and shot-stopping skills between the posts, as well as his proclivity for saving the ball with his feet, allowing him to do acrobatic dives and stunning saves. De Gea was named the best shot-stopper in the world in 2018 by former goalkeeper Shay Given. He has also been praised for his consistency, calmness, leadership,and sense of position.
As a youth, he struggled to defend high balls due to his small build, frequently punching balls away rather than holding on to them, and was hesitant to move off his line at times. In especially after he improved physically and acquired more experience, he has showed remarkable gains in his aerial abilities, handling, command of his area, decision-making, and ability to come out and claim crosses. Kyle Diller even labelled him as a “powerful presence in the box” in 2012.
However, his ability to get off his line and deal with crosses was regarded as a weakness in his game in subsequent seasons, particularly in comparison to teammate Dean Henderson. De Gea is known for his quickness when sprinting off his line in one-on-one situations, allowing him to play sweeper-keeper as well. Later seasons, however, Adam Bate of Sky Sports noticed in 2019 that De Gea tended to stay in his area and came out to sweep up the ball less frequently than other Premier League goalkeepers; his change in approach also garnered criticism from Mark Ogden of ESPN in 2020,.
De Gea “has never been particularly comfortable playing behind a high line, usually coming out second-best in one-on-ones with opposition strikers,” according to Mark Critchley of The Independent in the same year. Jonathan Wilson wrote in a 2020 article for the Irish Times that sweeping was not a natural part of his game, and that one of the reasons for his lack of form since his poor and error–prone performances at the 2018 World Cup was his tendency to sit deeper with Manchester United in comparison to his position with Spain, who play with a higher line.
De Gea has excellent ball control, vision, and distribution with either foot, allowing him to start attacking plays from the back. In 2014, he credited Frans Hoek, his goalkeeping coach under Louis van Gaal, for helping him develop this aspect of his game, which Mark Critchley of The Independent had initially criticised as “average.” In a 2018 article for The Guardian, Jonathan Wilson felt that De Gea’s unremarkable passing and lack of confidence with the ball at his feet was one of the reasons for the contrast between his performances with Manchester United and Spain.
De Gea’s ability to save penalties has also been questioned in recent years; despite saving penalties from experts like Leighton Baines, Diego Milito, and former teammate Robin van Persie, he hasn’t saved a single penalty since April 2016. (when he stopped future teammate Romelu Lukaku from the spot). De Gea has given up 40 penalties in that time, including 11 in the UEFA Europa League Final shootout in 2021.
|Popular As||David de Gea|
|Occupation||Spanish soccer player|
|Age||31 years old|
|Born||7 November 1990|
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