David de Gea was the first goalkeeper to be named the Premier League Player of the Month for six years following his impressive displays in January where he saved Manchester United’s skin time and again.
On Wednesday, United will face Atletico Madrid, the club De Gea joined when he was 13-years-old, but the Spaniard claims that Manchester feels more like home to him in an interview with UEFA.
I like the fact I was born in Madrid, but at the end of the day, it’s just a city. 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 Atlético 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 had been third choice goalkeeper behind Sergio Asenjo and Roberto at Atletico but claimed the no.1 journey when he was still a teenager.
At that moment, I was kind of the third-choice goalkeeper. I have always believed in myself, I used to train a lot and just tried to prove: “I am here, I may be young but I’m good enough”. I tried to do my best, and then, it was fortunate for me but unfortunate for Roberto that he got injured and I got the chance to prove that I was good enough.
When Quique [Sánchez Flores] arrived, the team changed. We won game after game, and there was a moment when Asenjo and I were both available and he chose me. I played nearly every game. We made it to the final of the UEFA Europa League, and we won it. We also made it to the final of the Copa del Rey. We lost, but at least we made it to the final. And then we won the UEFA Super Cup against that great Inter side.