De Gea drops hint over future: 'I don't see myself away from Man Utd'

By Sports Desk February 21, 2022

David de Gea hinted he could spend the rest of his career at Manchester United.

De Gea joined United in 2011 from Atletico Madrid, who the Red Devils face in the last 16 of the Champions League, the first leg of which is at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.

During his time in England, De Gea progressed from a young prospect to one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

While his form over the previous few years appeared to dip, he has seemingly been back to his best in 2021-22.

According to Opta data, only Kepa Arrizabalaga has prevented more goals (10.5) than De Gea (7.9) across all competitions among goalkeepers at Premier League clubs.

Wednesday's clash will be De Gea's first match against Atletico since leaving them over a decade over, and the occasion offered him the chance to reflect on his affinity with both clubs.

"I like the fact I was born in Madrid, but at the end of the day, it's just a city," he told UEFA.

"Now I feel as if I'm from Manchester. I just feel like anyone else from Manchester. Where you are loved and welcomed is your home.

"I've been here for many years and, obviously, anything can happen in life, in the world of football, but honestly I don't see myself away from Manchester United.

"Of course, I'm going back home [for this tie], I'm going back to the club that gave me the opportunity to be who I am today. But this is just another match.

"Everyone wants to play well, we want to win, it is a Champions League match. Obviously, I wish Atletico all the best, but I don't know whether the fact we're playing them is a good or bad omen.

"Everyone is going there to win, especially me."

De Gea's United contract expires in June next year, though United have the option to extend it for a further 12 months.

His comments would seem to suggest he sees himself signing another contract that expires beyond that date, however.

De Gea will be one of Ralf Rangnick's first picks as United go to Madrid for the first leg, before hosting Atletico at Old Trafford on March 15.

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    The Selecao's 49 final-third entries throughout the match were the joint-most since such data began being recorded in 2011, alongside their own tally versus Paraguay in 2019, yet they only registered a paltry three shots on target.

    The result means Brazil have lost early ground on Colombia, who lead Group D following their 2-1 win over Paraguay earlier on Monday.

    Speaking after the game, Dorival said: "We rotated the ball well, went from side to side and got our attackers one-versus-one. 

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    Vinicius Junior endured an underwhelming performance, being replaced by future Real Madrid team-mate Endrick with 71 minutes gone after failing to record a single shot and only managing five touches in the Costa Rica area.

    Asked about the decision to withdraw the winger, who shone as Madrid won a Champions League and LaLiga double in 2023-24, Dorival said: "We put him on the side, on the inside, we didn't find the way with either. 

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    Dorival Junior's side subsequently lost early ground on Group D leaders Colombia, who beat Paraguay 2-1 earlier in the day.

    Brazil quickly asserted their authority on proceedings in California as they sought the game's opening goal.

    Rodrygo steered a shot wide following a jinking run into the penalty area, while Raphinha was denied by Patrick Sequeira after latching onto a diagonal ball over the top of the Costa Rica defence.

    The Selecao thought they had broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Marquinhos applied the finishing touch after Rodrygo glanced Raphinha's free-kick towards the far post, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside following a VAR review. 

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    The latter's cross almost saw Costa Rica defender Haxzel Quiros head into his own net with his blushes spared by Sequeira, who then beat away Guilherme Arana's fierce volley.

    Savinho was involved again in stoppage time as he teed up one final opportunity for Bruno Guimaraes, who bent his first-time shot narrowly wide to compound a frustrating start to the tournament for the nine-time winners.

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