Vicente del Bosque assures David de Gea “will shut everything out” if he is picked to start in goal for Spain’s Euro 2016 opener against Czech Republic on Monday.
Spain’s preparations for the European Championship have been marred by De Gea’s implication in the Torbe sexual-abuse case, but Del Bosque insists the scandal has not affected the goalkeeper, nor has it impacted on who he will play between the sticks in France.
“It’s a key game. I’m not saying that Czech Republic are worse than the other teams, but it’s very important for us to avoid the unexpected in our first game,” the Coach told Radio Marca.
“We know that we handle adversity very well, but we must be prepared to win the match regardless of whether we are advantaged or disadvantaged.
“I’ve spent 17 years trying to get my players to adopt a good attitude. These players are more mature than when [my generation] were players.
“What will never change is respect, education, behaviour and conduct. Their actions create a lot of impact.
“[The De Gea situation] has been explained and the goalkeeper’s calm. I’ve gone back and forth, but before this all happened, I’d already decided on the issue of starting goalkeeper.
“I believe in the lad for the naturalness of his Press conference. We must be very demanding with everything surrounding the national team.
“We’re representing our country and we must adopt good conduct. We believe that De Gea will shut everything out.
“He has an unusual serenity for such a young player. He showed a lot of maturity [on Friday]. Casillas has been very close with De Gea in training and all the players are supporting him.
“There’s been enough debate [on my first-choice goalkeeper] since the moment I chose the 23-man squad. Everyone’s entitled to their view.
“It’s true that there’s considerable consensus on the line-up I will play at this tournament, but we’ve taken care of forming the team little by little. We have a squad that can play. I won’t say in advance who will be the first-choice goalkeeper.
“[Qualifying in third place] is a cushion that all the teams have, but we’re not thinking about that. Competing is important from the first game, without speculating the results.
“[Alvaro] Morata and [Aritz] Aduriz are very similar. What we want is two strikers with similar characteristics, and we want them to do their job well and in a defined manner.
“We have to choose one and surely one will be picked on the small details that are asked of us by our opponents.”