Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was left ‘surprised’ after being mistakenly congratulated by the Spanish FA on his retirement from the national team.
De Gea was not included in Spain’s squad for their World Cup campaign in Qatar, with Luis Enrique opting to pick Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon, Brentford’s David Raya and Brighton’s Robert Sanchez as his three goalkeepers.
United’s No.1 has never declared himself unavailable for selection but following Luis Enrique’s snub, reports in Spain claim that the 32-year-old received a message from Luis Rubiles, who is the president of Spain’s Football Association, which praised his decision to retire.
Journalist Jose Alvarez told Spanish television show El Chiringuito: ‘De Gea has been a bit of a strange subject.
‘Suddenly he disappeared from the call ups a few months ago and Luis Enrique did call David to tell him he was not going to count on him. He told him that it was a technical decision. Obviously, David asked him what the reason was, but he was not given any further explanation.
‘A few days later David receives a message from Rubiales, president of the Federation, who says, ‘David I am glad that you have finally made the decision you have been thinking about. I have already been told that you are leaving the national team’.
‘To this David replies, ‘Sorry? There is no renunciation of anything, who has told you that I renounce anything? The coach has told me that he is not going to count on me, but I have never renounced the national team, nor do I intend to do so, that is if I am called up’.
‘He was a bit surprised by the communication between Luis Enrique and Rubiales and the message that arrived from Rubiales afterwards.
‘The last year and a half De Gea has been very good, being a protagonist for Manchester United in almost every game and he was seen as being a part of the three in the national team.
‘I do not say he should be a starter, but he believed he could contribute apart from experience. He was a bit surprised that Rubiales sent him the message saying that he was going to resign from the national team or that he had made the decision after thinking about it, never mind congratulations for taking the decision.’
Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Costa Rice on November 23, while they will also play Germany and Japan in Group E.
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