David de Gea Quintana (Spanish pronunciation: [daˈβið de 'xea]; born 7 November 1990) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Manchester United as a goalkeeper and is widely regarded as the best young goalkeeper in Europe . Born in Madrid, he started his career aged 10 with Atlético Madrid and rose through the academy system at the club before making his senior debut in 2009. After being made Atlético's first-choice goalkeeper, he helped the team win both the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup, and his performances attracted the attention of Manchester United, whom he joined in June 2011. He is also the current captain for the Spain U21 national side.
De Gea, whose real name is Alberto, joined Atlético Madrid's youth system at the age of 10, and made his way up through the ranks at the club. He spent his first professional seasons playing for Atlético Madrid B in Segunda División B. With first-choice goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo away on international duty at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, De Gea was called up to the senior side as cover for Roberto. He made his debut for the Atlético first-team at the age of 18 on 30 September 2009, coming on as a substitute after Roberto was injured after 26 minutes of Atlético's UEFA Champions League group stage match away to Porto; De Gea conceded two late goals as Atlético lost 2–0.
Roberto's injury meant that De Gea was given his La Liga debut three days later, at home to Real Zaragoza; he gave away a penalty kick in the 19th minute, but immediately redeemed himself by saving Marko Babić's attempt, in an eventual 2–1 win. After some costly mistakes by Asenjo, and the arrival of Quique Sánchez Flores as manager, De Gea finished the 2009–10 season as the starting 'number one'. He won two man of the match awards along the way, against Athletic Bilbao and Valencia. Additionally, he appeared in eight games in the club's victorious UEFA Europa League campaign, including the 2–1 final win against Fulham.
De Gea started 2010–11 in impressive fashion, helping Atlético win the season's UEFA Super Cup. In the 90th minute of the 2–0 win against Internazionale, he saved a Diego Milito penalty kick. He remained the undisputed starting goalkeeper for the remainder of the season, going on to play in every La Liga game for the team en route to a 7th place finish.
The first half of 2011 saw a great deal of speculation regarding how Manchester United would replace their retiring goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, and much attention focused on De Gea, among others. After Gary Neville's testimonial against Juventus on 24 May, United manager Alex Ferguson claimed that a deal had been done to bring De Gea to Old Trafford, but this was later denied by De Gea's representatives and the Atlético management, with De Gea stating that he would not consider his future until after the UEFA Under-21 Championship. Following Spain's victory, De Gea was spotted in Manchester having a medical with United on 27 June. The next day, he reported that United were making him a contract offer, and the transfer was confirmed on 29 June.
He made his first appearance for Manchester United in a 3–1 friendly win over Chicago Fire on 23 July 2011. He made his competitive debut for United against Manchester City in the Community Shield on 7 August. Despite being caught out in the first half by a header from Joleon Lescott and a long range Edin Džeko strike that put City into a 2–0 lead, United rallied in the second half and won 3–2. De Gea made his league debut for Manchester United against West Bromwich Albion a week later, where he failed to stop a "tame" Shane Long goal during a 2–1 United victory. De Gea kept his first clean sheet for United on his Old Trafford debut, their following league fixture against Tottenham. He made a few impressive saves and his side ran out 3–0 winners. In the following game six days later De Gea saved a penalty from Arsenal captain Robin van Persie which would have cancelled out United's 1–0 lead. He made further saves to deny van Persie and Andrei Arshavin as United thumped Arsenal 8–2. On September 18th Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-1 at Old Trafford, with De Gea making a string of impressive saves, particularly from Ramires when he had an empty net to side foot home, De Gea quickly got across to smother the ball away. De Gea's rapid improvement continued in his next game as he made two stunning saves to help his side to a 1-1 draw away at Stoke City. De Gea made his first ever UEFA Champions League start against FC Basel at Old Trafford on 27 September 2011. The match ended in a 3-3 draw.
De Gea helped Spain's U17 win the 2007 European Championship, and finish second at the 2007 World Cup.
In early May 2010, courtesy of solid Atlético performances, he was named by senior squad manager Vicente del Bosque in a provisional 30-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup; however, he did not make the final cut.
In 2011, he was part of the Spain U21 team that won the 2011 European Championship.