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David De Gea wants public apology from Spain's Prime Minister

David De Gea has called for a public apology from Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to publicly apologise for comments made about the Manchester United player's alleged involvement in a sexual assault case before Euro 2016.

The goalkeeper strenuously denied the accusations at the time, with no evidence found to press charges -- but Sanchez expressed misgivings and said he "didn't feel comfortable" with De Gea representing Spain at the tournament.

Sanchez met the Spain team last week, when he attempted to ease the tension by apologising in person to De Gea.

"I politely accepted his apology," De Gea told Diario AS as he prepared for Spain's 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia. "The issue is that what he said back in the day was in public and that is why I think the apology should also be a public one.

"It's also true that the majority of people in the public eye that disrespected me have not even apologised to me in private.

"It's easy to talk about others in this country. I always said that it was a lie and yet people continued saying that I should not go to the national team.

"In the end, things are proven and we saw that it was all a lie. It personally didn't affect me much but obviously I have people close to me that are affected by this more than me. But it's water under the bridge."

De Gea said his full focus was now on the World Cup despite continuing speculation that he could join Real Madrid, with Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak mooted as a potential replacement.

"The important thing is the World Cup -- there cannot be anything else to turn your attention away from that," the 27-year-old said.

"We have to be focused. It's very important to have a good World Cup and I hope we can go far and win -- that would be amazing.

"Football is football and a thousand things can happen. But I'm always calm and come my way, I will continue to be the same. I just want to be 100 percent focused on the World Cup."

Spain take on European champions Portugal in their Group B opener on June 15, and De Gea said he was ready to face Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He is a great player, one of the best in the world," he said. "But Portugal is not only Cristiano, they have a great national team, they won Euro 2016.

"We also have a great national team, and it will be a tough game. We will try to do our best."

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


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