MADRID, Spain, March 20 – Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea believes his move from Atletico Madrid to Premier League giants Manchester United has helped him evolve into both a better man and a better player.
“It’s my second season in England and it has changed me both as a person and a footballer,” he said ahead of Spain’s World Cup qualifiers against Finland on Friday and France next Tuesday.
The 22-year-old, who has not always been first-choice under Alex Ferguson since his big money transfer in 2011, is now showing the form that made him such a highly sought after prospect.
His form has been rewarded with a first call-up to the national team, where he is expected to provide cover for Barcelona custodian Victor Valdes.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque has turned to De Gea in an expected backup role, with Real Madrid veteran Iker Casillas sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury.
“I feel good and the team have welcomed me with open arms,” continued De Gea.
“They are a great bunch of people.”
He also said he had recently been chatting with team-mate Patrice Evra who is likely to line up for France against Spain, with top spot in Group I on the line.
“Yes, we’ve spoken about it and we’re both going to try to do our best for our respective teams and try to win,” said De Gea.