David De Gea

Exclusive interview: De Gea can't wait for derby day

Friday 06 December 2019 07:00

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is excited by the prospect of Saturday's first Manchester derby of the season.

The Spanish shot-stopper is eager to face the challenge that Pep Guardiola’s side will pose at the Etihad Stadium, in a game which kicks off at 17:30 GMT in front of a global audience of millions.

“It’s always a special fixture,” De Gea told us. “It’s a derby game, against a top side who have a clear way of playing and like to knock the ball around.

“With all their pressure you have to be very good defensively. As I say, it’s always a special game and I can’t wait for the game to come around.

“I’m keen to try and put in a good performance so we can go away with the three points which would be really great for us.”

Countdown to derby day
David De Gea, pictured on his United debut against City says

"They are always entertaining games to be a part of, full of excitement and tension, tons of commitment and there is always something special happens in these games."

De Gea already has fond recollections of playing in this fixture, having come away from the Etihad as a winner on three previous occasions, among those a pair of eventful 3-2 wins in 2012 and 2018.

The former success was a key reason why we went on to win the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season, while the latter prevented our rivals from wrapping the league up on home soil.

Our no.1 is hoping for further success across the city, when we resume our rivalry this weekend.

“I have lots of good memories,” says the 29-year-old. “One or two others not quite so good, but they are always entertaining games to be a part of, full of excitement and tension, tons of commitment and there is always something special happens in these games.

“Let’s hope that on this occasion the three points stay with us.”

De Gea hasn't missed a Premier League match since the final day of the 2017/18 season, when he was rested for our 1-0 home win over Watford.

Having signed a new contract in September, which keeps him at the club until at least 2023, he’s looking forward to what the future holds at Old Trafford, including adding to his 18 appearances in the Manchester derby.

“It’s a real pleasure to be able to keep playing for more seasons with this club and here’s hoping it’s not just more derbies and more games to come, but also more trophies, because that’s what we are all fighting for.”

Did you know?

David De Gea (378) is now third among the goalkeepers with most United appearances, behind Peter Schmeichel (398) and Alex Stepney (539). The Spaniard recently overtook Gary Bailey (375).

The Spaniard was recently named as Premier League goalkeeper of the 2010s by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Petr Cech, Joe Hart and Ederson.

De Gea admitted that it was an honour to be selected in both pundits' team of the decade.

“When players of that category acknowledge you for your hard work over a good number of years, it must mean that you’ve done the business for a big club in the Premier League over a period of time.

“So, it’s always a real source of pride and really great that you are recognised for stuff like this.”

Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.

Countdown to derby day: