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01st Jul 2018

David de Gea ripped apart for one aspect of his performance against Russia

Not his finest hour

Darragh Murphy

David de Gea has not had the best World Cup.

There is no denying that De Gea is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world and his consistent feats of brilliance between the sticks of Manchester United over the years have placed him as the very best in the eyes of several supporters.

So often, he has rescued points for United by taking to the air and clawing away a goal-bound strike and he started the World Cup as Spain’s undisputed No 1.

However after a couple of mistakes in the group stage, calls were made to see him dropped for Sunday’s Round of 16 clash with hosts Russia.

De Gea started in goal, however, and while there was little he could do with the penalty that drew Russia level shortly before half-time, his performance still received plenty of criticism.

The 27-year-old repeatedly failed to find a teammate with his passes from the back, failing to complete a single successful pass in the opening 45 minutes.

For a team which prides itself on possession and slick passing, De Gea looked like he’d been rattled by the negative press he’s received in recent days.

De Gea got close to two penalties in the shootout which saw Spain eliminated by the tournament hosts but he did not appear to be on his game on Sunday afternoon.

The Spanish stopper is clearly not accustomed to criticism since recovering admirably from a shaky start to life at United but supporters tore into his distribution during Spain’s final World Cup game.