Manchester United and Spain goalkeeper David De Gea on Friday denied reports that he allegedly arranged a sexual encounter in 2012 between two Spain under-21 players and two women in a Madrid hotel, which is being investigated by police as part of a pornography case.
The news comes as the European Championship is about to start with Spain due to play Czech Republic on Monday.
De Gea did not elaborate about the case on Friday but repeatedly said the reports were false.
“I am surprised by the news. It is serious and false,” De Gea said. “These accusations give me more strength to train harder and help the team. They can say all they want, it is all false. I will keep training in the face of this.”
Spanish media, citing police sources, reported that De Gea has not broken the law.
The statement by a witness was made to during an investigation of former pornography impresario Ignacio Allende Fernandez, known “as Torbe,” who was arrested in April 2016 and is accused of crimes including sexual exploitation, sexual aggression, human trafficking, child pornography, extortion, blackmail and tax fraud. This testimony comes from a minor, whose identity is protected, and has not been confirmed.
“I am more surprised than anyone about this,” De Gea said. “Of course I am staying with the team. I have great support from my teammates and am even more looking forward to this Euros now. It is something false which has come out in the press, now in the hands of my lawyers. This gives me more strength to train more, to help the team however I can.”
De Gea said he had been playing computer games in his room when made aware of the reports in Spain, which linked him to a case involving pornographic videos which had been shared among footballers. He said he called his family to say there was nothing to worry about as the stories were untrue.
“I was in the room on the PlayStation and heard the news,” he said. “Above all I wanted to tell my family, so they know this is all false, and they can be relaxed. I remain a very relaxed guy and few things can change that on the pitch or off the pitch. I am still very relaxed, just want to train and do what I like to do. I am not thinking about leaving the camp, not at all. I just want the tournament to start and hopefully I will be able to play.”
Teammates Hector Bellerin and Aritz Aduriz faced reporters on Friday as well, with Aduriz asked about the issue and saying that he would not be commenting on the matter.
“We know David perfectly well,” the Athletic Bilbao striker said. “I will say this just once, and please respect that we will not talk at all about this issue.”
Muniain’s agent Txus Medina told The Guardian that client had not been contacted by police about the matter.
“We do not know anything at all about this case,” Medina said. “Neither the police nor the courts have been in touch to request any kind of information.”