Vicente del Bosque: No talk of sending David de Gea home
Spain manager backs 'keeper: ‘It seems that he has done nothing and I have to believe him’
Vicente del Bosque has said Spain have never considered sending David de Gea home from Spain’s Euro 2016 squad. Photograph: Getty
Vicente del Bosque has insisted the Spain squad will offer “support and affection” to David de Gea, after the goalkeeper was named in a sexual assault case on Friday.
The 25-year-old has denied any involvement in the case after being named by a protected witness as the person who arranged and paid for an encounter between two Spain Under-21 players and two women in a Madrid hotel in 2012. According to a report published by the website ElDiario.es on Friday, one of the Under-21 players is named as the Athletic Bilbao forward Iker Muniain while the other has not been identified. In a short statement Muniain’s agent, Jesús Medina, denied any knowledge of the alleged case.
“I think De Gea has given all the explanations he had to give and he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with this issue,” said the Spain coach Del Bosque.
“He said that to the whole squad too. We all met up and the lad, calmly and sincerely, has explained that he has nothing to do with this issue. The squad is here to support him at all times and to give him the affection he needs at these times. Everything is normal and we’ll carry on.”
On Friday, De Gea, who is in France preparing for Euro 2016, remained adamant that he would continue to train as normal and said he had already received “great support from my team-mates”. De Gea also confirmed the matter is now in the hands of his lawyers. “I am very, very calm,” said De Gea. “I know what I do with my life. It is all false. I have no idea [where it comes from] and how it came to be in the press. It’s a way of sullying someone’s image. That’s it.”
Del Bosque confirmed he never had any intentions of sending De Gea home from the squad’s Saint-Martin-de-Ré training base in France, despite the goalkeeper being accused of arranging an encounter between players and women.
“We have never considered [sending De Gea home]. This was a surprise for us,” said Del Bosque. “We waited for the lad’s explanations. It seems that he has done nothing and I have to believe him.”
Asked whether the goalkeeper would play against the Czech Republic in their Group D opener in Toulouse on Monday, the 65-year-old said: “We’re in a period of reflection and we have to think it over. You have to think things over in life. I can’t say now whether he will start or not.”