Spain goalkeeper David De Gea and the country’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have “turned the page” on a public disagreement dating back to 2016, according to Spain Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales.
Sanchez met with De Gea on Tuesday at the national team’s headquarters in Las Rozas, Madrid, before wishing Spain’s squad good luck ahead of the World Cup. The Socialist party leader’s speech was followed by applause from all the players but one, as De Gea opted to keep his hands in his pockets.
And Marca described De Gea’s treatment towards Sanchez as distant and cold, even though the player did shake hands with the PM.
The disagreement stemmed from De Gea’s implication in a sex assault case before Euro 2016 — which he has always strenuously denied any involvement in and no evidence was found to press charges — as Sanchez expressed misgivings about the goalkeeper’s involvement at the tournament and said that he “didn’t feel comfortable with De Gea as the national team’s goalkeeper after seeing his name mentioned in a [Torbe] case.”
However, after Tuesday’s meeting, Rubiales told Cadena Cope radio that it was all water under the bridge.
“It has been solved quite well. De Gea is a fantastic person,” he said. “He already proved that he had nothing to do with this issue. The prime minister has been affectionate, has been close to him. He requested to see him first before anyone else. They had a chat.
“He explained to him that he was happy that De Gea had come out of that well and said that the information he received at the time was not correct and he has wished him the best of luck.
“I think it was a chat that needed to happen, it was a relaxed tone. For De Gea, the situation was not easy but I thought he did well. The prime minister has shown humility. We have to turn the page.”
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.