World Cup 2022: Is De Gea's World Cup Career Over?
According to FIFA's regulations, the national teams participating in the World Cup 2022 must submit the preliminary list for the tournament before November 13. Based on this list, the coaches will register 26 players with their teams to attend the biggest football festival on the planet in Qatar.
AS newspaper revealed that coach Luis Enrique has submitted his preliminary list. Despite the scale of calling up to 55 players for the preparation process, goalkeeper De Gea was also out of place, although he had had a good performance at Manchester United. De Gea has made 105 saves for Manchester United in 29 games, the highest number of goalkeepers in the Premier League since 2021/22.
In this list, Kepa Arrizabalaga has appeared in the goalkeeper position. However, the above source confirmed that the Chelsea goalkeeper is just a backup plan. Three goalkeepers are included in the 2022 World Cup, including David Raya (Brentford), Robert Sanchez (Brighton) and Unai Simon (Atletic Bilbao). The 52-year-old coach chooses five players for a position. However, De Gea is even behind David Soria who is playing for Getafe.
Thus, the World Cup 2022 will be the first major tournament De Gea has not attended since his debut for Spain in 2014. De Gea was Spain's No. 1 goalkeeper at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. Up to this point, De Gea has played a total of 45 matches for La Roja, and his international career is considered over.
What makes De GEA not in use?
Although he possesses excellent reflexes and the ability to control space, footwork is always his Achilles heel. That’s why De Gea has long since lost his position in the national team.
Every time he received the ball, he was embarrassed when the opponent approached quickly and had to swing the long ball upwards. This makes it difficult for Manchester United to deploy the ball from the bottom line, the style that the big teams are using.
Enrique's problem with De Gea has appeared for a long time. He needed a good goalkeeper to play with his feet to organize his play from the home half. This is a basic requirement of most of the top clubs in the world. But De Gea has not been able to overcome.
In 2021/22 season , Infogol reported that De Gea averaged 69% of the correct pass rate in the Premier League. This number is much lower than Unai Simon's, whose rate is up to 91%. De Gea still has outstanding points, such as good reflexes and reach, which allow him to block long shots outside the box. De Gea is capable of starting any national team. However, that was not good enough for Enrique. The former Barcelona coach preferred to use good goalkeepers. And in fact, since the day this Spaniard came to power, De Gea has been gradually forgotten in La Roja's shirt.
Euro 2020 is the first warn Enrique sent to De Gea. He let young goalkeeper Unai Simon start. Bilbao's keeper met the expectations of the Spanish coach. It is the La Roja tournament that does not set too many expectations because it is in the transition period. But the result Spain still performed convincingly and reached the semi-finals.
Unai Simon can distribute the ball to the back four in front of him, which is rated as better than De Gea. The ball on the upper line of this goalkeeper is also highly accurate. Unai Simon's experience and weaknesses can be accumulated over the years.
Besides Unai Simon, Enrique also appreciated the reserve goalkeeper, David Raya.
"He has the opportunity to become a top goalkeeper. The important thing is the ability to control the game and play the ball with their feet, which my goalkeepers have to do, "-coach Enrique said.
In 2019, the British press reported that coach Solskjaer asked De Gea to attend a course to train his ability to handle the ball with his feet. After the Norwegian was sacked at the start of last season, De Gea has yet to show significant improvement.
De Gea continued to be absent from the Nations League, the last major tournament before the World Cup kicks off despite that he was the number one goalkeeper for "La Roja" at the 2018 World Cup and in World Cup 2022, this also will change.
Sad ending for De Gea?
For the first time in a decade, David De Gea, Spain's No. 1 goalkeeper in many international tournaments, will have to stay at home to watch the biggest football festival on the planet through television. This is a disappointing reality for an experienced and famous goalkeeper like De Gea, even though he is not injured and is in quite good form when playing for MU.
Fans feel sad for De Gea's unperfect career. As one of the top goalkeepers in the world, De Gea deserves to have great battles in the national team shirt to assert his worth, but what he has in his career is only the Europa League title, the English Premier League, and the European Super Cup, and some domestic titles such as the FA Cup or League Cup.
De Gea may be remembered as a good goalkeeper at the club. As for the national team, his achievements are very “meager”. Even the fans can recall De Gea's mistake when he met Portugal in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup. De Gea conceded 3 goals, one of which was a glancing slip into the groin after his long shot. Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is undeniable that De Gea is one of the most talented goalkeepers in football history, but times change and other heroes will appear. It is possible he belongs to classic football, where his reflex ability as an electronic is appreciated more than in modern football, and it is the time he has to give his positions to the younger talents in modern football.