Spain manager Enrique defends Manchester United player after shock Ukraine defeat

Matthew Chivers October 14, 2020
Spain manager Enrique defends Manchester United player after shock Ukraine defeat
Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Spain manager Luis Enrique has defended Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea during an interview with El Chiringuito following the nation’s historic 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League last night. 

De Gea was off his line when Viktor Tsigankov scored to give Ukraine their first-ever victory against Spain. 

Enrique defends his keeper

Despite an outcry, former Barcelona player and manager Enrique said he wanted his whole team to share the blame. He said criticism of the under-fire Manchester United goalkeeper had become “an obsession”. 

Enrique told El Chiringuito: “Blaming De Gea is an obsession and has become a turn on.

“The responsibility for each goal belongs to the whole team. We need to improve and create more scoring chances.

“I am happy with what I have seen today within the squad. That opinion has not changed.”

Rise and fall of De Gea

De Gea signed for Manchester United in 2011. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Atletico Madrid stopper became one of the best keepers in the world.

He has appeared in the PFA team of the year on five occasions and has made more than 400 appearances for the Red Devils.

In 2015, De Gea was on the verge of a transfer to Real Madrid but the Spanish club failed to submit the relevant paperwork on time.

The 29-year-old has been the Manchester United supporters’ player of the year a record four times. 

However, his performances have come under increasing scrutiny for both club and country as individual errors have mounted. 

Close rivals Manchester City and Liverpool both have impressive keepers – Ederson and Alison Becker respectively. Meanwhile, United performances have been inconsistent in the past two years.

Since Enrique was reappointed Spain manager in November 2019, his side have won only two of five games.

Despite their defeat to Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine, however, Spain top Nations League Group 4.

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Graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2019, and has since become a qualified NCTJ journalist, studying at News Associates in Manchester.