Manchester United’s latest signing David de Gea bid farewell to his lifetime club Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón on Wednesday evening.
The keeper is off to the Premier League after having signed a five-year deal with the Red Devils. Atleti are set to receive at least €20 million for the sale of their young star.
“It’s difficult, but I am proud of having belonged to this club and of having team-mates that have always supported me,” the 20-year-old said.
“I will always carry the club with me in my heart. Even if I’m far away, I will always take these colours with me. Let’s hope to see each other again in the future,” he said.
Many have speculated that the Euro U21 champion was pushed out of the club by greedy Atlético directors wanting to line their pockets with the cash from the keeper’s sale, but De Gea refuted those claims.
“Atleti has always fought for me. I’ve always considered myself loved,” he said. “The main reason behind my departure is that I desire to play for Manchester, I want to take a step up. It’s Manchester, one of the best clubs in the world and it’s an important step for my career.
“It’s a perfect club to grow as a player and person at. Atlético made an effort but my family and I have made this decision,” he said.
David then skirted around questions about when his decision to leave for England was made.
“There have been many rumours for months now, but what is certain is that last week the club was contacted about an offer and an invitation for me to visit the facilities in Manchester,” he said.
“I went with my family and I made my decision over there. That’s where everything was done.”
The Atleti youth system product then addressed questions about the unfortunate ‘blanket incident’.
“There was no secrecy,” he claimed. “I arrived at the hospital and I don’t know what they wanted to do with the towels covering us. There’s no logical explanation to it. It surprised us all.”
De Gea spoke of his appreciation for Rojiblanco fans that have supported him since he “was a child” before concluding the press conference responding to questions about his English Premier League expectations.
“I’m prepared [for England], if not, I would not have accepted,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of Primera matches and I see myself qualified to perform well there. I think the Premier League fits my style, and I hope to adapt soon.”