Manchester United’s David de Gea: I always had faith in my own ability

David de Gea insists he always had faith in his own ability throughout the low points in his first season at Manchester United

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson signed David de Gea from Atletico Madrid last summer Photo: The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

David de Gea has insisted he always had faith in his own ability throughout the difficult moments in the Spanish goalkeeper’s first season at Manchester United.

The 21-year-old moved from Atletico Madrid to the Red Devils in a reported £17m deal last summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson viewing the Under-23 Spain international as a long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar.

De Gea, who had made 84 appearances for Atletico prior to his move to the Premier League, made an indifferent start to his career at the Old Trafford, with a string of high profile errors resulting in plenty of criticism for the United goalkeeper.

However, the Madrid-born shot stopper recovered and produced a series of eye-catching performances towards the end of the campaign which suggested he had finally started to settle in England.

“There have been doubts in the first season but I always had faith in my ability. The pressure at an elite club like United is huge but Ferguson just told me to do what I did at Atletico. You have to be as strong when things go wrong but I don’t get nervous. Mistakes are normal; everyone makes them,” De Gea told the Guardian.

“I think that at times people don’t realise that it’s not easy. You travel a lot, you work hard. When you come home in Spain, your family are waiting for you. When you’re in England, they’re not. For a Spaniard it’s different.

“What are the worst things? From a Spaniard’s perspective, it rains a lot, it’s cloudy, it gets dark very early, maybe you’re a bit bored. The winter can be hard: playing over Christmas is a big change. The food: it’s not bad but it’s not the same. You miss friends and family. People don’t always appreciate that. There are hard moments.

“But those are the sacrifices you have to make to keep on growing and to improve as a footballer. And when you play, when you go on to the pitch, when you hear that atmosphere, when you play the game, that small sadness gets washed away. And then you’re happy.”

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