Spanish FA president mistakenly congratulates De Gea on international retirement

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By Martin Graham | 19th Nov 2022

David De Gea has expressed shock at a congratulatory message from the president of the Spanish FA.  The United goalkeeper said he never renounced the national team, nor does he plan to do so.

Spain has announced their squad for the World Cup and one name conspicuously missing is David De Gea. The Manchester United goalkeeper did not cut it and will have to make do with watching his comrades on TV. De Gea was the first-choice goalkeeper for Spain at the 2018 World Cup, where they crashed out in the round of 16. They lost on penalties to the hosts Russia.

Luis Enrique is a known advocate of a ball-playing goalkeeper and does not believe that De Gea fits the role. He has opted for other goalkeepers over the United goalkeeper, who seems to have regained his form this term.

Spain heads to the World Cup without De Gea as they try to win the trophy they won in 2010. De Gea hoped to make the squad, but Enrique is not a fan of De Gea. Perhaps the more curious thing besides missing out on the World Cup is the congratulations sent to the goalkeeper on his international retirement.

Spanish expose themselves in a mistaken congratulatory message

In recent years David De Gea dropped down the pecking order in the Spanish national team. The Manchester United goalkeeper was ignored in La Furia Roja’s squad for the World Cup, with his place taken by Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon, Brentford’s David Raya and Brighton’s Robert Sanchez. The three goalkeepers are Luis Enrique’s picks for the World Cup.

De Gea declared that he never made himself unavailable for selection for the national team after Luis Enrique decided not to pick the goalkeeper for the World Cup. According to reports from Spain, the 32-year-old received a message from Luis Rubiales (the president of the Spanish FA) praising him for deciding to retire from international football.

The topic of a ball-playing goalkeeper has raised debates in recent years. De Gea is a goalkeeper that does not fall into this category. Despite being one of the best shot-stoppers around, he has always been controversial with managers of Enrique’s ilk.

Journalist Jose Alvarez said on the Spanish television show El Chiringuito that De Gea has been a bit of a strange subject.

The issue at play

A few months ago, David De Gea disappeared from the call-ups of the Spanish national team. Luis Enrique called David to tell him he was not in his plans. Enrique explained it was a technical decision but failed to explain further.

After the discussion, David received a message from Rubiales telling him he is glad to have finally made the decision. According to Rubiales, he received information that De Gea was leaving the national team.

David responded to the message that there is no renunciation of anything. The United goalkeeper also asked Rubiales, who told him he had renounced anything. De Gea explained that the coach told him he was not counting on him, but he never renounced the national team, nor does he intend to do so.

De Gea was surprised by the communication between Luis Enrique and Rubiales. It is clear to see the goalkeeper is disappointed at the dishonesty of the pair of Enrique and Rubiales.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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