Spain goalkeeper David De Gea says he still does not know whether he or Iker Casillas will start their side’s Euro 2016 opener against the Czech Republic in Toulouse on Monday, June 13.
Long-serving national team captain Casillas, 35, has made a series of high-profile mistakes for clubs [Real Madrid and Porto] and country over the last three seasons, while Manchester United stopper De Gea, 25, has impressed in the Premier League.
Over the last two years La Roja coach Vicente del Bosque has rotated his two senior international goalkeepers, although De Gea was chosen to start the final warm-up game ahead of the summer’s European Championships.
That game however ended in embarrassment for Spain, with De Gea conceding the game’s only goal after a mix-up at the back let Georgia midfielder Tornike Okriashvili in to score from close range.
Speaking at the post-game news conference at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Perez, De Gea said he had not been told of any decision for the tournament yet, but was ready to come in and play if called up.
“We are a team, we are all here to help and nothing more,” De Gea said. “I always work hard to play the games, and I am ready [to start]. The boss makes the decisions. I am here to take advantage of any opportunities I get. My feeling is that this is up to the boss and wait until Monday to see what he decides.”
De Gea was blameless for the Georgia goal, but has now been between the posts for five of the last eight goals conceded by Spain. Meanwhile Casillas has bounced back from his horrorshow 2010 World Cup and now gone almost two years without conceding at international level, a run stretching 784 minutes over nine games.
The former Atletico Madrid youth teamer rejected a question suggesting he must have felt bad personally when the ball hit the net even though it was not his fault.
“On the pitch I just think of doing my job well,” he said. “Their goal was a bit our mistake, and a bit bad luck. But nothing else. There is no need to go into it too much.”
Media speculation over whether he or Casillas would be Spain’s number one goalkeeper at the tournament was not something which overly bothered him, De Gea said. Del Bosque said on Monday he was still undecided.
“I have had some good seasons at Manchester, have a lot of confidence, played a lot of games,” he said. “We know the media will always talk a lot about this kind of thing.”
Georgia’s goal came during a rare attack, and followed a mix-up in possession between defenders Jordi Alba and Sergio Ramos. De Gea said this did not mean his teammates took too many risks at the back.
“Today there was a mistake,” he said. “But we have scored many goals starting from the back. These are very good players, the best at this.”