Previous
CSKA Moscow
Bayern Munich
0
1
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
AS Roma
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Ajax Amsterdam
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Barcelona
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Schalke 04
NK Maribor
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Lisbon
Chelsea
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
BATE Borisov
Athletic Bilbao
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Porto
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Cardiff City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
AFC Bournemouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Blackpool
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Millwall
Birmingham City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Norwich City
Charlton Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rotherham United
Blackburn Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Watford
Brentford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Nottingham Forest
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Crewe Alexandra
Notts County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Telford United
Chester City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Halifax
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Macclesfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Braintree Town
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dover
Aldershot Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Bristol Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Forest Green Rovers
Torquay United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Grimsby Town
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Dartford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Woking
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wrexham
Kidderminster Harriers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
St Mirren
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
León
Monterrey
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Queretaro
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
São Paulo
Huachipato
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Icasa
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
Paraná Clube
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Al-Ain
Al Hilal
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 4
Game Details
Herediano
Universidad De Costa Rica
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
Game Details
Next
Jul 23, 2012

De Gea: 'I always had faith'

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has spoken of the difficulties he faced in his first season at Old Trafford, but believes he is learning to cope with the demands of playing in England.

• Marcotti on SAF and the Glazers

De Gea, 21, who faced intense criticism after a string of early mistakes at United, came back strongly in the second half the season to firmly establish himself as the club's long-term No. 1.

Despite his game facing cross-examination in the media over the past 12 months, the Spaniard is confident he is on the right track to succeed as a Premier League goalkeeper.

"My English is getting better," De Gea said in an interview with the Guardian. "I understand most things but I find it harder to speak. English football is different, especially for a goalkeeper. It's more aggressive, more physical. It's far, far harder. The ball is in the air more and you get pushed about. And the referees don't blow anything!"

De Gea was told to bulk up by the Red Devils, with his thin frame a weakness often pointed out by observers. Asked about his work to improve physically, he said: "Eat well and lots of gym work. We're not talking about a huge amount anyway: just four or five kilos. The other thing is that I am still young and I will naturally fill out anyway."

Other reports focused on an eye operation that the club had told the 'keeper to undergo. Again, De Gea explains: "I'm just short-sighted, like loads of people. I wear contact lenses - in fact, I've got new ones - and I can see perfectly well, just like anyone. I don't understand the fuss. I put lenses in and ... perfecto."

Now at the Olympics as first-choice for the Spanish squad, De Gea believes that he is over the worst of the criticism. His on-the-pitch performances have improved and he is now acclimatised to life in England, but De Gea insists he never doubted his own ability.

He added: "There have been doubts in the first season but I always had faith in my ability. The pressure at an elite club like United is huge but Ferguson just told me to do what I did at Atletico. You have to be as strong when things go wrong but I don't get nervous. Mistakes are normal; everyone makes them.

"I think that at times people don't realise that it's not easy. You travel a lot, you work hard. When you come home in Spain, your family are waiting for you. When you're in England, they're not. For a Spaniard it's different.

"What are the worst things? From a Spaniards' perspective, it rains a lot, it's cloudy, it gets dark very early, maybe you're a bit bored. The winter can be hard: playing over Christmas is a big change. The food: it's not bad but it's not the same. You miss friends and family. People don't always appreciate that. There are hard moments.

"But those are the sacrifices you have to make to keep on growing and to improve as a footballer. And when you play, when you go on to the pitch, when you hear that atmosphere, when you play the game, that small sadness gets washed away. And then you're happy."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.