David De Gea is determined to become the best goalkeeper in world football – although the Manchester United goalkeeper says he has work to do before earning such a tag.
The 22-year-old was outstanding for much of the 2012/13 season, helping the Reds secure the Barclays Premier League title whilst winning a place in the PFA Team of the Year. He also finished third in the voting for the club's prestigious Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
To conclude an excellent campaign, De Gea is currently starring for Spain in the European Under-21 Championship in Israel, keeping four clean sheets en route to Tuesday night’s showpiece final against Italy at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.
“I have grown a lot,” David told Spanish newspaper AS when quizzed on his development since joining the Reds from Atlético Madrid in 2011. “I am more experienced, I have played a lot of games for United, and I am sure of myself and confident.
“Of course, I am very grateful for the effort they (United) made to buy me and for the support they gave me. First Atlético, then United trusted in me.
“My objective is to be right up there with the best players in the world, that's what makes me excited, and I’m doing everything I can to achieve that.
“I am playing at a very high level. I have had one year playing well but I'm still very young. I think that I still have a way to go before I reach the level of the best in the world.”
As well as his own immeasurable talent, part of De Gea’s personal development must be attributed to United’s coaching staff and former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him as a replacement for the retired Edwin van der Sar.
Of course, when De Gea returns to Manchester for pre-season training, his recently retired manager will have been replaced by David Moyes. And although it will be different, the Spaniard admits he is looking forward to a new chapter for the Reds.