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David De Gea backed by Spain boss Julen Lopetegui after costly error

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has not lost faith in goalkeeper David De Gea following his costly mistake in Sunday's 1-1 home draw with Switzerland.

Spain were leading 1-0 after Alvaro Odriozola's first-half volley before Manchester United stopper De Gea failed in the 62nd minute to hold on to Stephan Lichtsteiner's weak shot and Ricardo Rodriguez pounced to equalise for Switzerland.

Marca's front page has a photograph of De Gea's spill with the headline: "A note of caution," while El Mundo writes  Switzerland's unexpected equaliser was the product of the keeper's "inattention."

Lopetegui put no importance on the error and said De Gea, who conceded just three goals in 10 qualifying, will bounce back.

"David knows that he is going to help us overcome many games and I have no doubt about it," Lopetegui said as reported in AS.

Spain travel to their World Cup base in Krasnodar on Thursday and will play their final warmup game in the Russian city against Tunisia two days later before meeting European champions Portugal in their Group B opener in Sochi on June 15.

Spain Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales watched Sunday's World Cup friendly from the stands of Villarreal's Estadio de la Ceramica.

Rubiales took the opportunity to voice his anger after finding out that his predecessor, Juan Luis Larrea, had approved a trip for federation executives, sponsors and family members to the World Cup that will cost the RFEF around €2 million. Rubiales, who based his campaign on transparency, was elected president of the RFEF last month and took over from acting president Larrea.

Larrea, a long-time RFEF treasurer under ex-president Angel Maria Villar, was also a candidate for the top position at the RFEF but lost to Rubiales.

"I'm very angry because of an arranged trip for executives, sponsors and family members that will cost around €2m, something which I consider a tremendous extravagance," Rubiales said as reported in AS. "I'm upset that this was approved by executives that were in the role on an interim basis and now we are not going to get that back. 

"I think it's logical to invite the footballers' families and to invite the sponsors, but another thing is to pay for a macro holiday in super luxury hotels, with stays of up to seven and eight days.

"The RFEF is not here for that. And now we have to swallow this. It will not be the same at the next European Championship."

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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