Full name: David de Gea Quintana
Left Atlético in: 2011
Currently playing for: Manchester United
Squad number: 13
DoB: 7 November 1990
Buyout clause: € 25m
Previous clubs: –
When Sergio Asenjo was away on international duty and Roberto was injured in a Champions League away match, an eighteen-year old goalkeeper was handed his debut. Despite losing 2-0, David de Gea made a positive impression.
With Atleti’s first two goalkeepers still absent, De Gea made his la Liga and home debut three days later against Real Zaragoza. At 1-0 up, De Gea conceded a penalty kick, which he then saved, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Products from Atlético’s own cantera are always popular in the Vicente Calderón, so it didn’t come as a surprise when fans started calling for De Gea after mediocre performances by Sergio Asenjo at the end of 2009.
Quique Sánchez Flores decided to grant De Gea his chance and the young goalkeeper paid the manager back for his faith. 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. At just 19, the goalkeeper started both matches.
De Gea was undisputed at Atlético and started the new season with marvellous performances against Internazionale, Barcelona and Valencia. He held on to his good form throughout the season and rumours of a transfer to Manchester United grew stronger. In June 2011 it was finally announced that David would replace Edwin van der Sar at Old Trafford. The Red Devils reportedly paid €20m for the services of the young goalkeeper.
De Gea’s quick rise didn’t come as a surprise to the coaches that have worked with the young goalkeeper. De Gea has represented Spanish youth teams at every level and won the European Tournament for the U17s in 2007. After his debut season De Gea was named in Vicente del Bosque’s provisional World Cup squad for South Africa, but wasn’t picked in the final selection.
In the summer of 2011 David won the European U-21 Championship with Spain.