Gloves are off as de Gea gives valuable tips to kids
The Manchester United goalkeeper made use of the Premier League winter break to stop over in Dubai
David de Gea looked suave in a black and white combination. The gloves were off, quite literally. The Manchester United goalkeeper made use of the Premier League winter break to stop over in Dubai and enjoy the sunshine.
And the Spaniard's presence, in a non-official capacity, was a dream come true for the handful of kids, who had assembled at the sprawling Dubai Media Office, on Wednesday.
The kids, all below 13 years, had only seen him in action on TV, on Premier League nights, perhaps barring a lucky few, who may have made the trip to Old Trafford - United's stomping ground - and known as the 'Theatre of Dreams.'
Dreams come true.
The kids from Dubai's very own Spanish Soccer School, who will be taking part in the Dubai Intercontinental U13 Football Cup, surrounded de Gea for pictures and autographs. And the 29-year-old shot stopper obliged each and every one.
A Dubai Media Office executive, an Emirati woman, went up to him and said that she had visited Old Trafford. De Gea smiled and then posed for more pictures.
It hasn't been the easiest of times for United, the record English champions, over the past few years. They are way down in seventh in the table but De Gea, formerly with Atletico Madrid, could afford a smile or two.
The winter break, apart from enjoying some warm weather, according to de Gea, could perhaps be a blessing in disguise for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men.
It may be the ideal opportunity to get away from it all, recharge batteries and come back refreshed before the rest of the season plays out.
Since de Gea was here on a personal visit, he couldn't speak about the club or anything related to English football. But he did take the time to impart some valuable advice to the pupils of the Spanish Soccer School.
"You need passion in what you are doing," said de Gea.
If you like football, just play, just enjoy. Try to believe in yourself, work hard and play as hard as you can and enjoy what you do," he added.
De Gea said that watching these kids play counted as some of the simpler joys in life.
"It would be beautiful to see kids enjoying playing football. Obviously, I would keep one eye on the goalkeepers but it is great to see all of them smiling and playing football that they love," revealed de Gea, who has made 390 appearances for United so far.
De Gea, who came through the system at Atletico Madrid, also fondly recalled the time when he used to play such tournaments.
"Of course, I played these types of tournaments. So, it is great to be a part of this international tournament. So, happy to see these kids getting to play such tournaments. And hopefully they can be top players in the future," he said.
De Gea, capped 41 times by Spain, also spoke of his love for Dubai.
"Normally, we come here with the team so, we don't have too much of free time to enjoy the city. We come here to train and prepare for games. But I love the weather though. Manchester is not the same. The weather is great. But it is a great city, enjoyable, great people. So, I love Dubai," de Gea said.
A few of his teammates - Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw are training at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex and so is the Arsenal squad.
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