David de Gea has thanked his critics for “motivating him” as he heads into the Euro 2016 knockout stages with Spain.
De Gea enjoyed another stellar year at club level for Manchester United, and was voted Fan’s Player of the Year at Old Trafford for a third consecutive campaign.
He entered Euro 2016 in excellent form, and was trusted as Spain’s first-choice keeper ahead of Iker Casillas by Vicente del Bosque ahead of the tournament.
While the Spaniard kept a clean sheet against both the Czech Republic and Turkey, he made two high-profile errors in the 2-1 defeat to Croatia.
First, he was almost chipped by Ivan Rakitic after being dispossessed in his own area, before he was beaten at his near post for Ivan Perisic’s late winner.
The 2-1 defeat condemned the reigning European champions to a last-16 tie against Italy, who won their group.
Responding to his critics on Twitter, De Gea insisted that he would bounce back from the setbacks.
“The only ones who are defeated are those who lose hope,” he said.
“Thanks to the critics, you motivate me. To keep fighting!”