David de Gea has downplayed claims that he is already one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but he admits he has greater confidence now.
The Manchester United goalkeeper has shown some strong form for Spain in this summer’s UEFA Under-21 Championship in Israel to earn praise from his Coach and teammates.
Whilst he has looked to downplay, he admits that he feels a different goalkeeper to that which defended the goal two years ago in the previous Under-21 Championship.
“I’ve grown a lot since 2011, I have more experience,” reflected De Gea to AS today.
“I have played many games at United and, like it or not, I have confidence and trust and I can tell. I have a lot of security, much confidence.
“Will I move into the senior set-up after this summer? I do not know. What I know is that there are three great goalkeepers with the senior squad, many at a high level in the Primera Division and it will not be easy to take a regular spot there.
“We all want to be there but you have to respect those who are. Those of us in the Under-21 side dream of being in the senior team, but we also know that it is hard.”
De Gea reflected on Iker Casillas’ recent struggles for playing time at Real Madrid and his return to action this summer with Spain.
“From the outside things look different to how they are seen on the inside. There are always tough times in a career, but I know that, as a goalkeeper, Iker would react. How he will play and maintain his level.
“Is he the best in the world? Yes, yes, yes. If not the best then one of the best. The level that he has shown since he started is amazing, Iker is an example.
“I have always admired his determination. Whenever he has been called upon, he has been there. He has provided victory for his team many times. That determination has made him different.
“My goal is to be one of the best in the world. My hope is that, I will do what I can to be one of the best.
“I’m playing at a very high level. I have had a year playing well but I am too young. I think I still have to catch up to the best.”