At just 22, the Manchester United goalkeeper is an experienced figure in a young Spain side that is attempting to retain the continental crown that was won so admirably in Denmark two years ago.
And De Gea, who has never lost in 22 competitive matches with the national team, including three Group B victories over Germany, Russia and the Netherlands, is determined to remain unbeaten.
Speaking during an interview with UEFA.com ahead of Saturday’s semi final meeting with rank outsiders Norway, David explained why his champion team-mates are motivated by replicating their own success: “What we achieved back then was something wonderful.
“The message we try to transmit to the group is that this is a unique tournament that you might only play once in your career, or if you are very lucky, twice. You have to give everything you have and to live it with a lot of hope and expectation. You have to try to win at all costs.”
As one of Spain’s most consistent performers, De Gea has racked up an impressive haul of caps at Under-21 level and is just two appearances shy of equalling Santi Denia’s all-time record of 27 outings, an achievement he will realise if his team-mates can reach the final in Israel.
Now on the verge of becoming a full international and possibly usurping Iker Casillas, the Reds hero admits he is proud of his time with the youngsters but is full of admiration for Vicente Del Bosque’s world champions.
“There have been many games and European tournaments and they all give you experience,”